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This page is a record of our visit to the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a fenced off area located within Wellington City which has been designed to keep predators out. The valley was sealed in 1995, following which all of the wildlife within the valley was systematically killed by poison or by shotgun. Once the valley was cleared of predators, and all other animals, the vegetation was begun to be restored to how it would have looked before the Maori arrived. This process will take 500 years. In about 2000, the valley had been stabilised and the team at the Sanctuary began to reintroduce rare bird and animal species which had been extinct to the Kiwi mainland, sometimes for up to 100 years. These included such rare species as the Saddleback, Kaka and Little Spotted Kiwi.

To find out more about the sanctuary, visit their website here

We started at the Sanctuary by taking a one hour tour with a member of staff called Graham. There are two reservoirs at the Sanctuary. The entrance and shop are located at the bottom of the first reservoir, which was Wellington's original 19th century water supply. This photograph shows a view down the valley from the top of the first reservoir towards the entrance and beyond.
This picture was taken towards the end of the guided part of the tour. The guided walk took us to the bottom of the 2nd reservoir. The walk to this point took just over an hour. The picture shows the 2nd reservoir, which was distinctly lacking in any wildlife at the time of our visit.
This little chap was one of the first birds that we were able to get close enough to picture. This is a North Island Robin, very similar to the UK Robin, but much darker and with a white rather than a red breast. This Robin is just as naturally inquisitive as its British cousin and got extremely close.
The next bird that we came across was the Kaka. This is a rather large, but good natured parrot that is found in New Zealand. This is different from the Kea parrot, found mostly in the South Island which is considered a pest by some farmers.
This picture shows a close-up of the Kaka. We were able to get extremely close to the birds without them getting scared. In fact, they seemed to be enjoying the attention.
This is the last picture we took, and is taken at the lower reservoir just before we left the Sanctuary. The little building in the middle of the picture is the Valve Control House for the reservoir. This hut was also built in the 19th Century, and costs quite a bit of money to maintain.

After leaving the Sanctuary, we ventured across the other side of the city to a live music festival celebrating Bob Marley's birthday. See the link below to see some pictures of the festival.

See also: One Love Festival