New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands - 2008

Waimaru Gannet Colony & Duffer’s Reef Exploring another part of this Maritime Park, we went by Zodiac to a wonderful natural reserve that has not required the intervention of concerned human beings yet though it is under DOC administration. This was the Australasian gannet colony that occupies steep and craggy small islands in this Bay. The granite rocks rise sheerly from the dark indigo waters and almost pierce the clouds riding high in the blue sky. The birds are about the size of gulls and very busy all the time—fishing, drying their wings after dives, nudging and elbowing others for space on the precious ledges, feeding their fuzzy gray chicks in their precariously placed nests. Other species of birds also struggle for purchase among the gannets— oystercatchers, King Shags, Pied Shags, and silver gulls. The scene was beautiful and rugged and a spectacular sunset just added to the beauty as we watched the birds begin to flock in for the night, dark patterns against the sky’s brilliant tropical colors. As we zoomed about in Zodiacs under the amazing sunset, we also passed the roosting place of the rare and endemic King Shag. Chapter 6. Ship’s Cove This site connected with Captain James Cook’s expeditions to New Zealand is an example of DOC’s administration of NZ cultural and historical heritage. Ship’s Cove is a sheltered bay where Captain Cook found everything he needed to refurbish his men and his ship and its stores. The site included excellent sources of fresh water, lots of sturdy trees for timber, plentiful greens to prevent scurvy among the sailors, good anchorage for his ships and comfortable terrain for the men to pitch tents and rest from the rolling sea and constant motion of the good ship Endeavor. He visited and revisited this area from 1770 to 1773 and spent a total of 168 days there. For good or ill, Captain Cook is a seminal figure in NZ history because he was the first European to have close contacts with the Maori, some friendly and some not. But after Capt. Cook came the European invasion and then the country was never the same. We hikers approached the site from the other side of the land spit and walked through a lovely forest over some medium hills to reach Ship’s Cove

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter