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Saturday 13 October 2018

New Zealand

South Island

What can I say, a stunning place and stunning scenery, absolutely love the Town,we had heard about it and it surpassed expectations for us both,we have had a fantastic time here with our family,a big thanks to them both.

The house where we stayed at for 3 days would have slotted straight in to Emerson Park,quite something else and with all the mod con’s,it also offered out of this world views of the Southern Alps.

Heading towards Queenstown
Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu in the distance

Being with them all has been the icing on the cake and as per the previous post,our grand children 
Erin and Quinn have given us a lot of joy and happy times to remember.

We have been out a lot not surprisingly around the South Island,Arrowtown had a lot of history as an old mining town and we also had a boat trip out on Lake Wakatipu, the scenery that this offered was spectacular to say the least.We have also had drives through the mountains, one bird that I have been looking for is New Zealand Falcon since we arrived, I understand endangered, no sightings in the mountains but plenty of Australasian Harriers.These were seen at the lower altitudes and behave more like our Common Buzzards in regards to foraging and foraging habitat, quite at home in Woodlands as well. 

I also connected at last with Black Billed Gull, it seems from the numbers present perhaps a common species around Queenstown?Not sure as to where they breed or there breeding grounds but all seen were adults barring one.

Other birds seen were New Zealand Scaup, Grey Duck although I suspect a lot of interbreeding with Mallards with some of those seen, good views of Tui and my 1st Bellbird singing,also had a couple of calls which I couldn’t identify but suspected they were ‘good’ birds. 

New Zealand Scaup



Grey Duck

As mentioned lots of English species here, Chaffinch’s and House Sparrows are everywhere and I have also seen Yellowhammer, Skylark, numerous Blackbird and Song Thrush and also quite a lot of Redpoll. 

Some of the trees here have to be seen to be believed,they are enormous both in height and girth, one tree in Queenstown Park is a type of Redwood, Sequoiadendron giganteum or Wellingtonia, hopefully I have that right.Its size and girth are enormous, I understand that many were planted in the late 1870’s.Quite humbling when you realise that you are looking at a tree that is around 140 years old.

Having this amount of water on your doorstep, its not surprising there are a lot of water based activities, boat and ship rides, flotilla plane, para gliding, jet boats and the best of the lot, shark boats. 

These are 2 man and you are taken out as a passenger,they are very fast and manoeuvrable, they also dive and leap out of the water just like a Great White, they are very spectacular but also not cheap.

Jet boats

Shark boat - spectacular

Summing up,we loved Queenstown. 

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