Thursday, November 7, 2013

Te Anau, New Zealand

October 29 - 30

We left Queenstown and drove two hours to Te Anau which is within Fiordland near the southern coastal areas of New Zealand.  We decided to best position ourselves to see Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.  Te Anau is a small country town  on Lake Te Anau.  While in Te Anau, we visited the Wildlife Rescue and Conservatory park where many of New Zealand's endangered birds are held after rescue.   

This is a Kea, one of the flightless birds.  We saw a couple of these birds in the wild.  They are known as one of the smartest birds on the planet.  This one was doing some kind of mating call while we were visiting.

This duck was diving under the water in search of food.  He would surface every couple of minutes with something in his mouth.

Next to this duck's resting spot on our side of the fence was a small bucket of food pellets for feeding this duck (and only this duck).  We enjoyed having the duck eat right out of the palm of our hands.

Here's Gene feeding the duck from his palm.

This was a Mamma duck, and she in the process of building a nest for her eggs that she had recently laid.  She was not happy to see us walk by, squawking at us very loudly in protection of her babies.  Good think we were on the opposite side of the fence  she probably would have attacked us if she could reach us.

And here are her eggs just a couple of feet away from her

Along the Milford Road, we stopped at Latitude 45 degrees south.

We found these campsites about 40 minutes outside of Te Anau along the Milford Road.  Gene was pretty desparate for a camp fire, so we stopped here to build a fire and cook dinner.  There were a bunch of rabbits at this one site.

This is the Eglinton River that runs along Milford road.

We stopped at this butcher shop in Te Anau and picked up some lamb and venison brats.

Lake Te Anau with a sailboat race going on in the distance.  We sat on a bench and watched the race and the sun set over the mountains behind the lake.

The winning boat (red hull on the right).  
This guy was about a lap ahead of everyone else.  Just watching this race is definitely making us miss sailing, and especially Kalalau.

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