It’s taken awhile, editing a slide-show with voice over is a lot harder than editing video, as you see me state in the video I was a bad vlogger and took lots of pics but no video! A full blog that goes alongside this video will be added shortly.

Part 4 shouldn’t be too far away! Transcript below video.



Hey everyone, it’s like 10 o’clock and we’ve packed up from the campground and just shot down to a flush toilet, and we’re headed out of Pu… where are we??…. Pureora park, Pureora Forest Park today, we’re headed up to some accommodation in Te Awamutu for the next couple of nights.  So part 2 is just about done and I will check in later. Remember Thrive, not survive.

25sec: Intro scene
34 sec: Map
40 sec, Antnz on camera

Hey guys, we’re in Te Awamutu for a couple of nights. Back from Pureora Forest. Amazing spot, absolutely fantastic but obviously no data, no reception; nothing. We had a good couple of days out there, and tomorrow we’ve got a pretty cool trip planned and I will fill you in on that later.

Stopped at the Otorohanga Kiwi House today. It was awesome, and yeah, fill you in a bit more about that later; just chilling out for the night ‘cos we’re all stuffed.  As much as I love camping and as much as I love MJ, tents just aren’t my thing anymore, I’d rather be in my hammock. So, I haven’t slept the best the last couple of nights which is why we’re at a cabin tonight.
Just thought I better check in; I’m an idiot and I forgot to take any video at Otorohanga, but I did take lots of photos so we’ll edit that together.

1min 56 sec: Slide show starts, Antnz doing voiceover.

The plan was to have a bit of a chilled out pack up and head to the motor-camp day, I had hugely misjudged the timing of the drive from Pureora to Te Awamutu, via Te Kuiti; but to be fair, my reference was the bad weather drive on the way into the campground. When we reached Otorohanga we discovered that we had almost 2 hours until check in time at the motor-camp and only a 20 minute drive left so we decided to have a look at the Otorohanga Kiwi House.

Otorohanga Kiwi House is one of New Zealand’s oldest viewing houses. It’s part of the New Zealand wide, captive breeding programs and it has a wide variety of New Zealand native birds, lizards, eels and of course the kiwi.  Being a nocturnal bird and being in a controlled environment meant that we didn’t get any photos of the kiwi itself.

One thing I found really interesting was Ben’s reactions. He really like the kiwi house and I literally had to drag him out. He really wasn’t too bothered about the birds free-roaming around him; but as soon as you put a piece of Perspex or fence he wanted to know what was on the other side.

New Zealand has a very unique eco-system. We have the worlds oldest animal, often referred to as “the living dinosaur”, the Tuatara; and many of our birds have evolved in such a way that they no longer fly. Head on over to the blog more detail about all of that. 

Otorohanga Kiwi House provides and ideal opportunity to see a wide variety of New Zealand’s native and endemic birds all in one place. All of the animals here are either part of captive breeding programs or they have been injured and wouldn’t survive out in the big wide world.

One of the first exhibits you come to as you walk through the entrance is an enclosure with an injured Keruru, or NZ Wood Pigeon, cue video.  Alongside this exhibit were two smaller terrarium with NZ and Auckland Green gecko, I was amazed in the difference in the “green” colors. In the other enclosures were skinks and another Tuatara, however the only picture we could get was of a Tiger Skink’s tail end peeking out of a log. Unfortunately many of our lizards need captive breeding programs to survive due to predation and environment competition from introduced species such as hedgehogs (who will also snack on them) and turtles

We found some of the coastal and wetland birds such as the Godwit, Pied Stilt, Banded Rail and White Face Heron really interesting as we don’t see them often. Many of these environments have been drained or filled in and if you are around a wetland the birds are often hard to see.  Godwits are probably one of the best examples of birds who fly south for the winter as they migrate to and from North America, Iceland, Siberia, Russia, Mongolia and Northern China to NZ and back every year.

Otorohanga Kiwi House also houses several species of ducks of which some species are deemed vulnerable such as the Whio or Blue duck and the Teals. The Whio hold a place in my heart as the NZ whitewater specialists and seeing them darting in and out of water that I would not dare paddle is an amazing site. They prefer to be in and around rapid areas on rivers in hard to reach places, which can make them a little more difficult to protect and there are several community organizations that have 1000s of traps out that are checked, cleared and baited by volunteers that work alongside DOC.

The Karearea and Ruru are some of NZ’s few birds of prey. The Ruru, is the remaining native owl and is more commonly known as the Morepork due to the distinctive call that can be heard throughout NZ. Although Ruru are still being lost through predation at least these birds along with the Karearea get a little of their own back by eating the smaller rodents such as mice.

One of the highlights of the day came closer to the end of our visit. We managed to call past the Kea and Kaka enclosures as one of the keepers was finishing up feeding these cheeky native parrots.  They are also not averse to teaming up to complete an objective; the juvenile Kea population was moving road cones at the Homer tunnel in the South Island which was causing much confusion and led to the development of “kea gyms”. The Kaka have a very similar mentality; it’s just not as well studied or publicized and I cannot find any information on the co-operative aspects of Kaka groups.

While chatting to Sally the keeper the intelligence of the Kea was reinforced; because Kea populate alpine environments the Kea don’t tend to hang off the wires of the enclosure or under branches; Otorohanga Kiwi House have a younger juvenile Kea who she found hanging upside down off the enclosure wires after watching the Kaka. It was also cool to see the Kea taking the lid off a container and the dexterity of the combination of beak and claws.

Thank you to Sally who spent time with us just chatting, her passion for the job with Kea and Kaka was evident.

I highly recommend stopping into Otorohanga Kiwi House if you ever get the opportunity.

The next video coming will be the final installment of this series where we spend an amazing afternoon doing Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain Wetland Tour where we got to see Tuatara and Takahe. 

As always thank you to all those that support AntnzVentures, remember to like, share, subscribe and comment; and remember: Thrive, not survive.

7min 41 secs: End credits.

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