It was a beautiful morning when we woke up in Picton. The aspect out of the windows at our digs was divine, with wooded hills, serene water, and picturesque boats. My husband had outdone himself with picking our lodgings during the trip. The plan was to do some light sightseeing and then check out EcoWorld and Aquarium.
Picton is a pleasant town, with a lovely waterfront. The park has quite the collection of wildlife: seagulls and ducks. Ducks are charming creatures, because they are always hopeful of a free meal. They ask, politely. Seagulls demand!
I was delighted to discover that EcoWorld had several tuataras on display. My cup runneth over, seeing more of these delightful animals.
In one of the aviaries there were a couple of the biggest, fattest rabbit brothers I’d ever seen, but – as a Queenslander – I have to admit to seeing very few pet rabbits. Rabbits are banned in Queensland, as pets, and we have a rabbit-proof fence to keep them out of the state. In the same aviary was a couple of indigenous small parrots. One was an elderly male, and he had been provided with a much younger mate. She flew around the cage with gusto, managing to scare the bunnies. He never moved the entire time we watched him; staring into the abyss (their food bowl). Outside the building were more aviaries containing more of the same species of parrot. They had no penguins – they only have those when they are ill or injured.
The aquarium was tiny, particularly compared to the Seaworld or the SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast aquariums. However, it did have several rockpool exhibits and a two larger tanks. The tragedy here is that all the inhabitants of the aquarium are under threat. The Picton council wants to take over the building containing EcoWorld and the Aquarium (it’s also the local cinema). If that happens, the land animals can be rehoused, but the water life cannot. They will have to be put down. They have a petition to try and save the business, and the owners of the business is running for council.
The plan had been to avoid the upper reached of the Northwest of the South Island, but the highway we had planned to take was no longer viable due to flood damage. This meant a longer drive as we detoured through Nelson and took the coastal road to our next destination – Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks. We saw some lovely scenery on the way, but the detour meant we drove into town in the dusk, not late afternoon as planned. This meant we had less opportunity for sightseeing. We were both tired after the drive, and we were pleased that our lodgings were excellent, right near the beach. We could hear the waves breaking as we drifted off to dreamland.