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ZEALANDIA’s Wonderful Walks
Rosemary Cole
/ Categories: In the Valley

ZEALANDIA’s Wonderful Walks

Discover our tracks

Even though there’s a finite number of walks in ZEALANDIA, there’s an infinite number of ways to do them. You can mix and match the walks to suit your timeframe, energy level and fitness.

Luckily, signage shows how long it will take to get back to the Visitors’ Centre. Signage also gives steep and gentle options. Fortunately, there are spare walking poles at the Visitors’ Centre. If you feel puffed, you can catch your breath on one of the several seats while also admiring the many and varied views.

These views are a joy to behold, as they change with the time of day, season and weather. Despite bad weather, there are bush canopies to keep you dry.

One of the most amazing aspects about Zealandia is the variety of both flora and fauna. Cute, tiny baby tuatara can be hard to locate in the Tuatara Nursery glass enclosures, but patience is usually rewarded. It’s such fun to look into the Tuatara research area and spot a tuatara sunning itself in the entrance of its burrow (check out the new signs on the fence indicating their locations).

It’s a challenge as well to stand really still, let your eyes adapt to the camouflage of leaf litter and marvel at tuatara going about their business outside the research area. It’s incredible to think how old many of the tuatara are and what has happened to the world outside ZEALANDIA in their lifetime. Seeing, not just hearing, a shy korimako/bellbird is truly amazing.

My bucket list wish is to be walking in Zealandia when tītīpounamu/riflemen are eventually relocated there. Their release is still a future, golden opportunity on hold.

Meanwhile, why not give a walk in ZEALANDIA a go? Ask our friendly hosts and guides for advice and which are their favourite tracks.

 

Story by Rosemary Cole

Photos by Eeva-Katri Kumpula

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