2 questions

Dear All,

  1. I’ll be in Auckland, NZ for a week in late October. Any tips on wildlife spots within 2 hrs drive from the city? Birds, bats, herps, inverts – everything. Also, any local contacts will be appreciated.
  2. In late June-early July 2018 I’ll be guiding a 2-week trip to Yakutia. The main goal will be to put GPS trackers on nesting Ross’s gulls; we’ll also see Siberian cranes, black capercaillies, Siberian grouse and other cool birds. As for mammals, the two locations we’ll be visiting (one in the tundra, one in boreal forest) are very remote and should have lots of stuff, but nobody knows what exactly. There might also be a side trip to Pleistocene Park. If anybody’s interested, please let me know. The cost is still being worked on, but should be relatively low for such an expedition.Vladimir Dinets


  • Leslie Z Sokolow

    Can’t wait for your report on Pleistocene Park.

  • Judy Leitch

    Dear Vladimir,

    With regards wildlife spots within 2 hours drive of Auckland City, you cannot go past Tiritiri Matangi Island. It is about a 40 minute ferry ride from the city. A wonderful revegetated island with many native NZ fauna and flora. I used to work for Ralph Silvester, and the far duck ponds are named in his honour- Silvester Wetlands. He and Eric (I also worked with Eric as he was my first headmaster when I began teaching), would row a small dinghy over from the mainland filled with native plants over 40 years ago! http://www.tiritirimatangi.org.nz/how-to-get-there

    There is also Miranda Shorebird roost on the southern side of the city but probably more than 2 hours drive with Auckland traffic.


  • mac hunter

    If you act soon you may be able to reserve a night or two in the bunkhouse on Tiritiri matangi….well worth the extra effort. ….mac hunter

  • Cathy Pasterczyk

    Check out eBird for birding locations and what has been found there and when.
    Go to https://ebird.org/ebird/hotspots and put in Auckland as your location.

  • Israel

    For Auckland, Tiritiri Matangi as mentioned. If you stay overnight(s) there are tuatara, various lizards including Duvaucel’s gecko, giant weta, giant centipede, etc.

    Mangere Seawage Ponds (reverted to nature) inside the city for shorebirds.

    Miranda outside the city for shorebirds.

    There’s a female leopard seal which has been living in the harbour for the last couple of years, although she moves around the area quite a bit. Quite often around the marina though.

    There are long-tailed bats in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens south of Auckland (I think that’s about two hours).

    Kawau Island north of Auckland (ferry from Sandspit) has wallabies and North Island weka.

  • Israel

    actually, for long-tailed bats, a much closer option than Hamilton is the “Ark in the Park” in the Waitakere ranges by Auckland. You’d have to contact them directly regarding access at night for trying to see the bats though.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Thanks a lot! Any locations for short-tailed bat?

  • John Van Niel

    Please keep me posted on the Ross Gull expedition! John Van Niel

  • Israel

    The only short-tailed bats left around the Auckland area are on Little Barrier Island, and you’d need to contact DoC about any possibility of staying there overnight (although there are “tourist day-trips”).

    Most of the short-tailed bat populations left are in the central North Island, but I don’t know any specifics about seeing them.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Thanks again! I just found that there are some short-tailed bats in Waipoua Forest, that’s a bit closer.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Are there any fur seal rookeries around Auckland?

  • Israel

    The closest colonies are in the lower North Island – they even didn’t start breeding on the North Island again until the start of the 1990s. However they have become more commonly seen in Manukau Harbour (Auckland) and around the Coromandel Peninsula (east of Auckland) in recent years, as the breeding colonies further south have increased. I don’t get up to the upper North Island much, so I can’t give anything more useful than that. I don’t think there’s really any “best” place to look, though, because they would be spread out rather than in congregations.

Leave a Reply