Welcome to Katie's Travel Blog. This is really Jenny-doesn't-get-to-travel blog where I (mom) keep track of Katie's adventures so I can have some vicarious enjoyment! Here's a look at what one globally-aware kid from little Santa Cruz, California gets to do these days if her mom's willing to keep working!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 8: Kiwi Birds, Fur Seals, Penguins and Kids! On the way to Methven, NZ

Today they leave their homestay families. Sheila sent a note about the journey so far. I posted it midway down here.

They'll board a coach and head off down the coast where they will end up at the Pudding Hill Lodge (sounds so rough). That's in the town of Methven which is a snow extravaganza (and I'm thinking we didn't pack snow gloves. Gloves yes, but SNOW gloves?! I guess socks aren't her biggest problem now.)
I'm not sure, but there's a Kiwi Bird Sanctuary along the coast that appears to be on their way south to Methven and Christchurch (actually, it's on the other side of the island darn it!). You have to visit this site to hear how the Kiwi bird sounds. I had no idea! While on the subject of Kiwi's, I found a great little video of the poor flightless bird! You can see it below.

They also have to keep their eyes peeled for fur seals and penguins. They will be taking the coastal route and may see Penguins so I hope they get to stop! They did get to see some fur seals the other day (on their way to the homestays) and Sheila posted some photos (see below).

Apparently they go through Christchurch to get to the Lodge. There's a good map here to track their route.

I expect we'll hear from the kids tonight. The itinerary says they'll have access to the Internet. We should get some good photos! Here are a few photos from Sheila McKell:

The kids at an overlook spying on the fur seals.
The fur seals! The black dots.
From the People to People Itinerary:

It is believed that Christchurch was first settled in 1250 by Maori tribes hunting the now extinct moa, a large flightless bird that was common to New Zealand. More recently, Christchurch made headlines as residents experienced a 6.3 magnitude earthquake which heavily damaged the downtown area and some of the residential suburbs. Your travels will not pass through the quake-zone, however you will learn about the impact of this event on the local inhabitants as you explore the area.
  • Say farewell to your homestay hosts and exchange addresses and contact information so you can keep in touch!
  • Travel along the beautiful Kaikoura coastline to Christchurch, keeping your an eye out for seals and penguins.
  • Enjoy the rare experience of viewing the New Zealand’s Kiwi national symbol, the Kiwi Bird, in its natural habitat.
  • Arrive at the small rural community of Methven, located near the beautiful foothills of Mt. Hutt and the Southern Alps.
Mt Hutt in the Southern Alps of New Zealand  

For the Kiwi lovers and dreamers out there, a little video. Enjoy.


  1. Hi Katie, I'm giving a presentation and I'd really like to use this photo of the kiwi. Could I have your permission to use it?