Tiritiri Matangi is a bird sanctuary which is really worth visiting. In the language of the Maori its name means “tossed by the wind”. This awesome island is located north of Auckland. It’s reachable by ferry in 75 minutes. Pay attention, the ferry leaves once a day from Wednesday to Sunday and you have to book it beforehand.

When we arrived last Sunday we were welcomed by incredibly beautiful sounds of various kinds of birds. A volunteer guide introduced us to the philosophy of Tiritiri. The island used to be farmland for the Maori. After that period it was designated to an open sanctuary. However, the island wasn’t able to re-vegetate itself, that’s why they founded a students’ programme to plant new trees and bring the native bush back.

There are different walking paths you can choose to discover the magic and beauty of this island. You will pass some feeding stations where you will see a wide range of endangered and utterly rare birds. If you’d like to take a picture of them you have to have a quick sense of reaction. But as we like to point out nothing is impossible!

Some birds we saw were for example the Stitchbird (Hihi), the Saddleback, the Rifleman (flying egg), the Pukeko and also the Takahe, which impressed us by its tremendous size and cheekiness. We would highly recommend this day trip to anyone who is interested in nature experiences and adventure.

Text by Simone and Julia, students at Languages International
Photo by Sandy Austin