Bird watching at Mount Ruapehu
June 20, 2017 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I'll be spending a couple of days at the start of July at a lodge near Mount Ruapehu. I realise that winter is not particularly the best time of the year for bird watching, but even if I track down Keas only I'll be happy. I'll be staying at one of the lodges near the mountain (not entirely sure which one, as I'm tagging along with someone else) and was wondering if there are any areas in particular that will heighten my chances of doing some good bird-spotting.
posted by New England Cultist to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
Have you checked out eBird to see if there are any nearby hotspots?
posted by cakebatter at 3:35 PM on June 20, 2017

I had no idea this existed - thanks!
posted by New England Cultist at 3:58 PM on June 20, 2017

Sadly you won't see kea on Ruapehu - they all live in the South Island.
Here are some other species you might see.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 6:16 PM on June 20, 2017

Don't wanna rain on your parade but Keas are found in the South Island, not the North. They are alpine parrots but as far as I am aware, not found in Tongariro National Park. Are you thinking of Kaka, perhaps? Sorry, I know this isn't really an answer to your question but I wanted to mention it.

This link might help you with common birds around that area. You could email Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre for their ideas, plus they can give you really good info about the weather and other stuff you'll want to consider. There are so many great walks around Ruapehu, and the park in general, would be a lovely way to see some birds and some seriously impressive terrain at the same time. Apologies if you have already researched all this stuff. I've spent some time on and around Ruapehu but not to bird watch so I can't be more specific about that, sorry.

Have fun! And bring some warm clothes, heh.

On preview: the poster above beat me to it. At least I know I'm remembering right.
posted by BeeJiddy at 6:20 PM on June 20, 2017

Are you going to be anywhere else in NZ? Lots of Kaka and Tui in Wellington these days.

Here's a good DOC brochure about Mt Ruapehu local walks.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:48 PM on June 20, 2017

Miss Otis' Egrets and BeeJiddy Well duh, of course I meant kaka! Yeah, because Kea are alpine parrots :p

Just Ruapehu, but I did visit Zealandia recently, which was fantastic. Robins around every corner. I have a small troop of tui in my garden because I put out sugar water for them, especially in winter.
posted by New England Cultist at 8:34 PM on June 20, 2017

I grew up in Ohakune, on the edge of Tongariro National Park. Birds I saw frequently in our garden and/or the Park: tui, rifleman, fantail, sometimes a bellbird or a kotare. In 17 years I never saw a kaka or a kakariki.

If you're travelling a bit farther afield, there is a kiwi sanctuary at Rainbow Springs/Rotorua which I remember with childhood fondness.
posted by media_itoku at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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