Archives For kaka

Olivia is 9 years old and lives in the Fiordland area. She writes about her recent trip to the Lake Howden Hut on the Routeburn Track.

Olivia and her brother on the Routeburn track.

Enjoying all the Routeburn has to offer

I liked going to stay at Lake Howden Hut. On the walk up the hill there were lots of water falls and big rocks. We had a drink of the water, saw a kaka bird and had a close look at the ferns. Some big trees were over the track that we had to go under like a tunnel.

At the hut there was a lot to do. We played in the lake and made a dam so we could have a pool, but the water was too cold. We found big rocks to climb and a stage to do our gymnastics and ballet on.

Liam standing on a rocky hill on the Routeburn Track.

Liam on top of the world

We had pasta for dinner, then milo and chocolate biscuits for supper. We played cards before going to bed.  We all wanted the top bunks but there were plenty of them so there were no fights. We played with our torches and in our sleeping bags, it was fun with everyone there.

Howden Hut on the Routeburn Track.

Our Howden Hut home

The next day we walked to Key Summit, it was amazing. It is a beautiful place, even the climb up was ok! But my legs did get a bit sore.

Olivia reading an information post along the Routeburn Track.

Learning about the alpine environment.

There was information on the different plants. Liam, my brother, was our tour guide and led the way around the track. We went across bogs, around tarns and up to the top.

On the way home it was all downhill. We talked about the next track we wanted to do, maybe the Kepler or Hollyford Track?

The girls on the Routeburn Track.

What track will we conquer next?

It probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that people love visiting our native animals online at www.doc.govt.nz. What may surprise you are the native animals people like visiting the most.

#10 Kaka

This amusing, social and boisterous parrot seems to be as much fun to hang out with online as in the real world.

Kaka

#9 Frogs

New Zealand’s four species of native frog may be cold-blooded, but they’re warmly regarded, and well visited, on the DOC website.

Hamilton's frog

#8 Tui

It’s not too much of a stretch to see why this pretty and popular song bird made the list. 

Tui feeding

#7 Kakapo

This eccentric New Zealand parrot has a huge following, partly due to their high profile ambassador Sirocco, who regularly makes news headlines around the world.

Kakapo chicks

#6 Tuatara

The only survivor of an ancient group of reptiles that roamed the earth at the same time as dinosaurs, tuatara are internationally famous and endlessly fascinating.

Tuatara

#5 Bats

Maori refer to bats as pekapeka and associate them with the mythical, night-flying bird, hokioi, which foretells death or disaster. Despite this rather gloomy association we still love visiting them.

Short-tailed bat cluster

#4 Kiwi

The kiwi is New Zealand’s national icon and unofficial national emblem. The only surprise about kiwi would’ve been if it didn’t make our top 10.

Kiwi

#3 Weta

Beating many a fair and feathered creature, New Zealand’s most recognisable creepy-crawly takes third place.

Giant weta

#2 Eel

These slimy and snake-like creatures obviously have more love out there than we give them credit for.   

Longfin eel

#1 Gecko

One look at the photos on the gecko pages and you’ll understand why these gorgeous creatures made it to the number one spot.

Marlborough green gecko

So, that’s the top 10 native animals of 2011, based on the number of visits each of them received on the DOC website during the year. Do you think visitor numbers have given us an accurate picture of popularity? Did your favourite make the list? Let’s take a quick poll to find out…