Archives For taupo

Sian Moffitt shares her experiences working in the best job ever—as a Tongariro Summer Ranger.

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DOC intern Partnerships Ranger Sian Moffitt shares her story about new chicks at the Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary near Taupo.

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DOC employee Sarah Cox discovers the Opepe Historic Bush Walk near Taupo during the summer holidays.

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“It’s a man’s world” – well that’s what most people think about the sport of fly fishing – but is it really true? Ranger Amelia Willis and her friend Evelien head to the Hinemaiaia River to find out.

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DOC Taupō office staff recently took a trip over the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – the most popular day walk in the country, and right in their own backyard.

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New Taupō King Country Ranger, Amelia Willis, tells us about her first month on the job—from taking part in an emergency lahar response drill up Mount Ruapehu, to joining an aerial film shoot of the Great Lake Trail, Amelia learns there’s never a dull moment at DOC.

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Anna ready to take photos of the NZ falcons at Wairakei Forest.

Anna with her camera ready

By Anna McKnight, Partnerships Ranger, Taupō.

A pair of rare New Zealand falcon/kārearea are currently nesting at Craters Mountain Bike Park at Wairakei Forest near Taupō.

The kārearea is a courageous bird. One time, in Aoraki/Mt Cook, a falcon defended itself against an Iroquois helicopter that got too close to its nest.

The helicopter was training with the Search and Rescue team and had to move, as it didn’t want to get the falcon caught in its rotor blades. Kārearea 1, Helicopter 0. That was one brave bird!

Having worked for the Department of Conservation (DOC) in Aoraki/Mt Cook, I knew what to expect when preparing to take photos of kārearea.

Karearea. Photo: Peter Langlands. DOC Use Only.

Karearea. Photo: Peter Langlands

As Murphy’s Law would have it, I was dressed for the office that day—with skirt, stockings and town boots—not very practical. So I raided my fire bag, and with helmet and fire boots for the terrain, I was ready to be dive bombed!

A NZ falcon soaring through the air at Wairakei Forest.

The kārearea speeds towards me

What I wasn’t ready for is the speed of the falcon. They are thought to get up to 200 kilometre per hour!

The falcon flew straight at me, but they were, in this case, just whizzing past to scare me, rather than striking. I need a better, and faster camera!

The sheer speed made the perfect falcon shot elusive, and I decided it is probably best left to the professionals!

NZ falcon pair sitting on a branch in Wairakei Forest.

Falcon pair defending their nest on Craters mountain bike track

It is exciting to be near such a rare and strong bird of prey, but I tried to be as quick as possible so I didn’t stress the parents out too much. Apologies for the amateur photos! If you are a kārearea fan and want to see some more professional photographs check out the page on the New Zealand Birds Online website.