Our adorable Kuia
Prior to humans arriving around 1300, New Zealand had absolutely no land mammals. The country was inhabited only by birds and lizards. With no fear of predators, this allowed New Zealand’s birds to evolve to become some of the most unique creatures in the birding world! Some grew whiskers, others a second voice-box for unique melodic singing, most became huge, and many lost the ability to fly.
One of the most iconic of these is the kakapo. A part of the parrot family, the kakapo is the largest and heaviest species of parrot in the world, and the only nocturnal parrot. They can’t fly, and they can live to the ripe old age of 90. They are also incredibly tame, and were once kept as pets by Maori. These unique traits sadly made kakapo easy targets for invasive pests. Today there are only around 250 kakapo remaining, most hidden away on protected island sanctuaries.
Southern Crossings has adopted a gorgeous kakapo named Kuia, which translates to ‘wise old woman’. Kuia was born in 1996 and we’re proud to report that on her last health check, she was in the best of health. Last season she raised two chicks, Aella and Paroro. She kept her rangers busy though, consuming more food than any other (but at a mere 1.58 kilograms, we think that’s ok).
Our adoption directly supports Kakapo Recovery, a program run by the Department of Conservation, which is the government department tasked with protecting New Zealand’s flora and fauna. The funds are used for food and radio transmitters, as well as the salaries of the legion of heroic rangers who carry out the health checks.
Mai a Rangi,
Mai a Papatuanuku,
Mai a Tane,
Ka puawai Rimu,
Ka hua a Kakapo,
Ki te Whai ao,
Ki te Ao marama,
Ka here tangata,
Ka here whenua,
Ka tu te Po,
Ka tu te Ao,
Tihei mauri ora.
many many many thanks!!!!!!
We have been blown away by everything - hotels, food, people, golf, wine - the list is endless. You did an amazing job
Planning a 7 week trip is daunting enough without the complications of COVID cancellations, rebookings, and closures. Yet every connection, every transportation detail, every accommodation, every meal, everything was flawless.
From our arrival in Sydney .. to our last stop in Queenstown .. we will carry with us the best memories of our trip and all of your efforts. The incredible private boat tours .. the bespoke wine tours with the best guides .. our accommodations .. and the excellent itinerary and pacing, made for a perfect trip.
We can't thank Southern Crossings enough for making this trip all, and more, than we had imagined. You allowed us to see the best of your countries: the people, the beauty, the culture. Five stars, a blue ribbon, and a gold medal to everyone at Southern Crossings!
Your country, its people and your team could not have made us feel more welcome.
Thank you for all the special moments you enabled us to experience.