On Sunday we visited the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and walked through native forest (cloud forest) to where NZ's tallest tree is – an 80 metre high eucalyptus planted in the 1870s after a forest fire destroyed part of the forest.
The sanctuary is protected by a fence that ensures the forest is pest free and the birds there are left to thrive. My day was made when we spotted a tiny rifleman, New Zealand's smallest bird; as small as the circle formed when you put your index finger to your thumb. The sanctuary has also recently obtained kiwi. We will be back to check them out once they're established.
The day we visited, the place was wreathed in fog (a recurring theme it seems). It really didn't matter a jot as we squelched our way through the forest, taking time to admire the native varieties of trees – some as old as 500 years.
As we tramped along the well-maintained tracks, we passed about four red wheelbarrows, obviously used to carry the gravel for the tracks, but also to stop visitors from taking the wrong turn. It reminded me of one of my favourite poems – you know the one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Wheelbarrow
Well, not long until Christmas 2010. We are heading away from Dunedin to spend the day with Robert's folks in Queenstown.
Happy Christmas everyone.