New Zealand: Muriwai Gannet Colony

I guess my desert-tropical body went into climate shock. I woke up with a bad combo of sore throat, cough and colds. muriwai gannet colony new zealand

But the day was too beautiful to waste in house arrest. So off we went to see some birds!muriwai gannet colony new zealand

There are a number of gannet colonies around New Zealand. Muriwai is the most accessible one from Auckland, an hour drive away from the city centre.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

The Muriwai Regional Park is known for its spectacular black sand surf beaches.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

Next to its car park is a short walking track that leads to the viewing decks above the colony areas.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

muriwai gannet colony new zealand“Walk the Otakamiro Trail to witness high energy forces at work – sun, wind and waves. Nature dominates here – we won’t and can’t tame it.”muriwai gannet colony new zealand

Gannets are white birds with black-tipped wing feathers. They waddle on land but are expert fliers and gliders.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

muriwai gannet colony new zealand

Muriwai’s gannet colony has about 1,200 pairs of gannets that nest on cliffs from August to March each year.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

muriwai gannet colony new zealandDo you see the fishermen below?muriwai gannet colony new zealand

Once airborne, the young gannets leave the colony and cross the Tasman Sea to Australia. A few years later, surviving birds return to secure a nest site at the colony.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

My young tour guides, I look forward to the day you would spread your wings and cross the big seas. Know that you always have a home to come back to. :)muriwai gannet colony new zealand

The view from the other side of the view decks…muriwai gannet colony new zealand

On our way home, we stopped by a public toilet that looked like a log cabin.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

The land, sky and air in New Zealand keep speaking to me. Sometimes they make me cry. I feel like God sends you to places like this to heal wounds that spoken words cannot mend.muriwai gannet colony new zealand

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” – Stephen King


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