Saturday, October 29, 2011

For the dinosaur enthusiasts...

...a great place to visit is the Ti Point Reptile Park. We met some friends there during the last few days of the holidays and had a lovely family day out exploring the Matakana area.

The park itself is about an hr north of Auckland and 20min from Warkworth. We were very pleasantly surprised by the range of animals the park takes care of - from skinks and geckos, to tortoises and turtles, alligators and lizards and tuataras. It's set in gorgeous bush with views out to the coast with enclosures spread out all over the park.

I think my favourite were the chameleons. This one was on a branch right next to the glass which meant I got a couple of good photos up close. Their eyes are totally creepy- they can independently rotate so potentially the chameleon has a 360 degree view. And such bright skins, so fascinating!

The park has a range of tortoises (land based) and turtles (water based). I never realized how much variation in size and colour there were between species.

This doesn't really capture his size very well, but this enclosure houses a Galapagos Tortoise. He is HUGE. Like a giant slow moving rock. Very cool.

Afterward we drove down to the Goat Island Marine Reserve which was another stunning piece of NZ coastline. We easily could have spent a week there exploring. DH couldn't stop talking about the massive snapper swimming around in the glass-like water.

The kids played in the sand and the rock pool area while our friends went snorkelling. Next time we visit we will have to take a ride in the glass bottom boat that does trips around the island.

We packed so much fun into our holidays, I was quite sad when they (too quickly) came to an end. Now we're heading into term 4 already - where has the year gone!

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