This morning we return to Queenstown centre to post the lovely print to our friends. This becomes a performance which takes a good hour. We need parcel tape, which appears to be very expensive in NZ, and a box for packing and bubble wrap, which is in very short supply in Queenstown! Usually we would expect to get all these at the post office, but we are out of luck and have to traipse round and round to collect all the elements, including a greetings card to thank them.
Having competed this tour of stationers, we return to the apartment for our car and bags and set off for Te Anau.
It’s a pleasant, straight forward journey which takes about three hours. We settle quickly into the Red Tussock Motel, before setting off for a walk around the lake. About 15 minutes from town are cages of various Kiwi birds, including three Takahe and two Kea parrots. Now we saw a wild Kea parrot on our tour to Milford Sound but did not get a photo: too far up a tree, but it was definitely there. And we saw wild Takahe on Tiritiri Matangi island. So we muse over this collection for a while.
I’m not sure if the Pukeko had volunteered to join the Takahe in their huge enclosure but it was good to see the two side by side as it were. There are elements which they share, but the Takahe is by far the heavier, indeed flightless bird, and it’s beak is massive.
But John has a better idea: we mix a bottle of gin and tonic and take two glasses back down to the lakeshore, before our meal. There we see about 100 mallard ducks, waiting! Occasionally some stray over the main road, but mostly the sit and squabble with each other. About 6 pm a man approaches with bags of grain. He feeds the ducks and they gobble the food. Then the all begin to fly, waddle or flap back to the lake for a grooming session and an evening swim.