Nga¯ Manu reserve is Aotearoa as it was

PAMELA WADE World famous



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The biggest remnant of lowland swamp forest left on the Ka¯ piti Coast, Nga¯ Manu Nature Reserve’s 14 hectares have been lovingly preserved since 1974. Opened to the public seven years later, it appeals to all ages, especially those who like to get close, possibly very close, to some of our most personable birds. Red-headed ka¯ ka¯ riki, ka¯ ka, kea, kiwi: they are all there, especially if you do the guided Feed-Out Tour. You will enter the enclosures and watch the birds come eagerly to claim treats. WHY GO? How else would you find out that kea and ka¯ ka, and parrots generally, are left-footed? Or that kiwi are virtually blind? Or that a male weka will, considerately, relieve himself before he jumps on you? On the Feed-Out Tour, you will hear all sorts of interesting facts about the birds as you work through their cages. To see them in the wild, wander through the reserve by yourself. Be sure to climb the tower beside the lake for its splendid views over the reserve, the coast and the Tararua ranges. Don’t miss the free daily feeding of the wild long-fin eels in the pond. INSIDER TIP For a special treat, have the entire reserve to yourself by spending a night in cosy and comfortable Theo’s Cottage beside the lake. Once the gates are closed to the public at 5pm, it is all yours to wander through in peace and quiet, though you are still able to pop out for a meal. Prepare to be woken by perhaps the noisiest dawn chorus you have ever heard. ON THE WAY/NEARBY You can do a different bird tour at Waikanae Estuary, where Mick will show you many of the 66 species that visit there. Head down anyway to the sandy beach for great views across to Ka¯ piti Island, where you can go on a day trip, or overnight, for more birds, including takahe¯ , plus HOW MUCH? Reserve entry is adults $12, seniors/students $10, children (5-17) $8, plus family concessions. Free for disabled people and their carers. The Feed-Out Tour: adults $12, children $7. Kiwi Night Encounters: adults $35, children $25, Thursday to Sunday. Check and book ahead for availability of the tours. Phone (04) 293 4131. BEST TIME TO GO Open every day except Christmas Day, 10am until 5pm. The eels expect to be fed at 2pm every day and there are free guided forest walks at 2.15pm on weekends. Visit STAYING SAFE: New Zealand is under covid-19 restrictions. follow the instructions at