Flightless Birds Soar At Two Of Wellington’s Top Attractions

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Kororā Little Blue Penguins.

Report by NewsroomPlus.com

Contributed by Positively Wellington Tourism

Wellington Zoo’s Kororā Little Blue Penguins will waddle their way into your affections in their new enclosure right in the heart of the coolest little capital in the world.

It is home to a variety of animals including Kunekune pigs, bees, eels, Grand and Otago Skinks, Maud Island Frogs, sheep, as well as Kororā Little Blue Penguins. More than 5,000 visitors interacted with the animals over the opening Labour Day weekend.

Wellington Zoo Chief Executive Karen Fifield said Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha was “a celebration of our country, our animals and our people”.

“We’re re-opening a large part of the Zoo that visitors haven’t been able to access for some time, and we’re thrilled that we can do it with Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha.”

Minutes from the CBD, Zealandia also enjoyed a busy Labour Weekend with strong visitor numbers taking advantage of great weather to get in touch with nature.

But it’s their avian icon, the kiwi, which has overcome its shy reputation to become one of the stars of Zealandia Night Tours where visitors are almost guaranteed to see our national bird in the wild.

Peak season for Zealandia’s Night Tours starts in November, with torchlight-lit tours every night of the week. The good news for nature night-lifers is that you’re guaranteed to hear, and have a good chance of seeing one of the flightless birds in the wild.

Lead Ranger for Conservation, Matu Booth, says the impressive kiwi spotting success rate comes down to the skill of Zealandia’s tour guides.

“They know where kiwi like to hang out and what they like to do when they are active at night. The guides have become very adept at locating them, even on the darkest of nights.”

Zealandia is home to the largest population of little spotted kiwi on the mainland. More than 130 of the birds roam free within the safety of Zealandia’s sanctuary valley.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive Chris Whelan says Zealandia and Wellington Zoo are two of the jewels in Wellington’s crown, but the city is also blessed with a glorious harbour, a green town belt and compact size.

“There is a heart of nature on the city’s doorstep which allows locals and visitors easy access to an outdoor lifestyle – whether that’s enjoying the solitude of a bush walk in the green belt, tackling a mountain bike trail, or taking in all that Zealandia and Wellington Zoo has to offer.”

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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