Bottom of New Zealand!

Stewart Island, the location of the second mystery in the Alexa Glock series, is hard to reach – even if you’re already in New Zealand. When we tried in 2014, our ferry from Bluff was canceled twice due to extreme weather in Foveaux Strait. The 2:00 ferry was a ‘go’ but what a rollicking roller coaster of waves we endured. (Thank you sea sick pills!)

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Maori legend claims the South Island is the ‘canoe’ and Stewart Island the ‘anchor’. This chain at the tip of Bluff reemerges on Stewart Island.

Stewart Island's Halfmoon Bay

Stewart Island’s Halfmoon Bay

The remote island with a year round population of 400 reminded me of a coastal Maine town- with parrots and giant ferns.

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This kaka visited us on the porch of our lodge. He hopped on a post next to Forest and then decided to hop on Forrest’s knee! Forrest flailed and the parrot failed. But how cool is it to be in a place with parrots!

We took a water taxi to Ulva Island and had a five hour guided bird and nature hike. I hope you enjoy the birds and fauna that follow.

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When I first saw these birds I said, “Oh kiwis!” Ulva Island is a good place to see the rare icons. But of course they are not kiwis even though they are brown and flightless. They’re weka chicks. DSC01694 (683x1024)

The only kiwi I saw: DSC01609 (1024x768)

The feeling I got on Stewart Island was peaceful- here is this little island 20 miles from the South Island, most of it a national park and so very very alone in a large cold sea. Maine minus crowds, shops, and pretentions. A few more pix:

water taxi captain

water taxi captain

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tree bark

tree bark

measuring kelp

measuring kelp