Tiritiri Matangi





Despite having lived in Auckland for years (1991-1999) I had never been to Tiritiri Matangi, which is an island and bird sanctuary, easily accessible from Auckland by ferry…

This weekend I corrected that omission and I am so glad I did, it was a beautiful sunny winters day and it felt like some form of eutopia to spend a day on the island.









Tiritiri Matangi is predator free, which means the birds are far less wary of humans, and apart from getting to see native birds in their natural habitat there were also a few bird feeders scattered across the island. And to be honest i could have sat and watched this Tui feeder all day – so much drama!!!





I shot lots of 120fps video of the Tuis endless turf battles, so expect to see some slow mo vids once I get home again….

Sonically there were two other bird feeder sites which seemed to be dominated by bellbirds – the first we saw sounded amazing but there were too many annoyingly noisy tourists hanging around… but the second bellbird feeder was in a more remote area so I set my Sony D100 rolling right beside the feeder and stood way back, watching keenly & shooting with my 400mm lens x 1.4 extender x crop sensor Sony a6300… again you can expect to do some vicarious listening when I get home…



I took the cheaty street photographer approach, as with the Tuis
ie find visually interesting site, set focus & lock off camera… and then wait



Hihi (stitch bird)



beautiful Takahe











My advice: Tiritiri Matangi is one of the absolute best day trips from Auckland. I kept thinking, if I was a tourist who flew in to NZ yesterday, this would be most amazing, instantly transformative experience… Obviously you need good weather, so would want to have a contingency day up your sleeve.. but I also think visiting outside the summer peak times is wise, thereby avoiding the peak crowds, and the heat & humidity. And the cicadas!

We spent a fairly leisurely day, and managed to walk most of the island without breaking a sweat, with plenty of time to lie down in the long grass & have a nap. You need to take your lunch & drinks…

Next time I visit I will do an overnight stay, and take all my mics – the dawn chorus must be amazing!!
And at night the stars must be really amazing to experience…

More info: Tiritiri Matangi

Ferry schedule via Fullers





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