30 October -1st November 2015

Trip report by Pol Syrett

Nine of us stayed in luxurious accommodation in Vangioni Lane, Akaroa, arranged by Katherine McCusker, our trip leader.  Even the cleaning was included, which created a problem for some of us, who found it difficult not to get the vacuum cleaner out before leaving!  Most of the party, up early on Saturday morning for sunrise at the end of Lighthouse Road, were rewarded by an almost cloudless sky.  Those of us sleeping in managed to catch some early light down on the waterfront. 

The main focus of the trip was to visit the large little blue penguin colony at Flea Bay.  We arrived mid-afternoon and enjoyed a beautiful walk out to the northern headland in stunning weather.  Native vegetation is regenerating well, and views over the bay were magnificent.  Our evening tour of the penguin colony started a little before seven, when we had finished our picnic dinner, and just as the sun retreated behind the hills.  We were given brief glimpses of penguins in their nesting boxes, so as not to disturb them, and watched those returning from fishing expeditions clambering ashore to relieve their mates on the nest.  We are very grateful to Shireen Helps for showing us the colony and sharing her knowledge with us.

On Sunday, we travelled home separately, and I photographed grey teal at Lake Forsythe.  Thanks to everyone on the trip for making it a memorable event.

More images on Flickr