On top of the world
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

On top of the world

Due to my own whānau/family commitments, I could only go on November’s fortnightly Monday Walk Group’s Fuchsia Trail/Discovery Centre outing. This made me suddenly realise that group has become my whānau/extended family too.

We always meet in Zealandia’s Visitors’ Centre Carpark and have a catch-up chat before starting our walk at 10am. This gives a chance to meet and greet new members, one American new chum today plus one potential member joined us later. We also mix and mingle listening to news updates on the health and wellbeing about those present and those absent.

We not only look out for each other, but also there’s a designated leader, tail-ender and radio operator per walk looking after the walkers.

During our briefing, a headcount is done while we listen to what the route will be and what options there are – depending on the time, weather and track conditions. Also we listen to what to look for and where to look for it enroute.

After listening to our Zealandia members’ cards being zapped before entry, we stop at the double gates to look for unwelcome fellow travellers, such as rats, mice and cats in our own bags.

Then we are on our way looking at the tuatara, both inside and outside the research enclosure, and listening to birds: trilling tui, squawking kaka, croaking shags and cheerfully chirping fantails.

Finally, we’re over the hills and far away for a steep climb up to The Fenceline. Zealandia never fails to amaze me, because there’s always something new and unknown.  Although I’m a Foundation Member, I’d never been on the long haul Fuchsia Track to the Fenceline via The Discovery Centre!

The Discovery Centre with its old equipment, displays and storyboards is a future treat to look forward to when I have time to linger. This time, however, I was looking for blue sky to hint at a welcome end to a track that was getting steeper and steeper!

As a distraction from puffing, I was listening to the wind in the trees and chat around me, including stories about working bees at Trelissick Park and in Zealandia. Finally, I listened to the wind singing in the power lines and was rewarded with a fine city view from The Fenceline.

It really is amazing what there is to look at and listen to at Zealandia!!

Rosemary Cole, Storyteller.
Panoramic view over Zealandia and Wellington City from the top of the Fuchsia track (main image).
Zealandia’s pest-excluding perimeter fence. 
Tui feeding on wharariki flax.
Old wagon in the Discovery area at Zealandia.
Nearing the top of the Fuchsia Track, looking across the Zealandia valley. Photos by Judi Miller.

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