Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Tiritiri Matangi Island

December 1st, 2014

Last New Zealand post!

Tiritiri Matangi Island is an amazingly successful ecological restoration project. The island itself is one of the Hauraki Gulf Islands off of Auckland. It used to be farmed, but beginning in 1984, rodents on the island were killed off and replanting was begun — the beginning of an immense volunteer project. Today the island’s vegetation is mostly native, and is home to many native bird species that thrive in the absence of introduced pest and predators.

Both Ron and I are interested in conservation, and we were told multiple times that we must visit the island — but we almost didn’t go. The weather during our last few days in Auckland was cold, windy, and wet, and a visit to an offshore island where we would need to remain for most of the day was not all that appealing. But we gathered our courage, and went anyway on our last full day in the city. And we were so glad we did!

The western side of the island, where we docked, was cold, a bit wet, and very windy as expected, but once we left the shore and entered the shelter of the bush, the weather wasn’t bad at all.

The island itself is beautiful, again with those amazingly well-kept New Zealand trails! The walks are guided by volunteers, which is wonderful for learning about the island’s history and having help sighting the native birds, which were very active during our visit. So yes! If you’re ever in Auckland, consider a visit. This is a wonderful conservation project, a great way to spend a day, and the hiking is easy.

Here’s our transportation, docked at Tiritiri Matangi Island.

The western shore, a photo that does not communicate the fierce wind that was blowing and an imminent, if passing, shower!

An oystercatcher nesting on the beach. This is my only semi-decent bird photo, and only because the subject was considerate enough to hold still!

A very old pōhutukawa tree, close to the shore. Here in Hawaii, we have a related tree called ʻōhiʻa. In both places, these trees are primary species in our forests.

The restored tree fern forest and the wonderful boardwalk, used on many of the slopes to reduce the impact of hikers on the slopes.

Looking for birds…

Finding birds became a lot easier when we arrived at the feeders! The feeders were very popular, with a lot avian visitors.

This one is for Paul Weimer (@princeJvstin on Twitter)…who always photos interpretive signs! Click through to see it large. We saw all the birds shown except the whitehead, the kokako, the rifleman, and the kiwi (which is nocturnal). (I forgot to check off the North Island robin).

And the sun came out! The low summit of the island is covered in grass, with beautiful views all around.

The lighthouse (now automated) and surrounding buildings. The green-roofed structure among the trees is the location of a small store, along with the picnic tables where we had lunch.

A view of Rangitoto Island — a volcanic island only 600 years old. Auckland is a very volcanically active region.

Cabbage trees along the trail on the sunny side of the island.

And finally, a view of the replanted forest. Click through for a much larger version. The health and vigor of this forest is so impressive. Thank you to all those who have helped to restore Tiritiri Matangi Island. You’ve done amazing work!

Posted on: Monday, December 1st, 2014 at 6:00 am
Categories: Hiking, Travel.
Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Tiritiri Matangi Island”

  1. Gloria Says:

    The correct name of the Island is Tiritiri Matangi

  2. Linda Says:

    Thank you for the correction! I thought I had copy and pasted the name because I wanted to get it right, but I guess I didn’t do so after all… It’s fixed now.