Goat island & kiwi sanctuary: the road to Paihia
We went snorkelling (I only saw 4 fish) at beautiful Goat island before stopping in lunch at Wellsford. This town created its name from the first letters of the founders’ surnames. Perhaps not an amazing place but it did have a rather nice homewares shop selling red velvet fudge! We pressed on to the bird sanctuary and were allowed to pet Sparky an injured 13 year old kiwi. Sparky travels the country with Rob his caregiver (for free in airplanes!) visiting schools and hospitals. Sparky hissed when he was put on the ground but immediately stuck his beak into the earth to check for worms. There is a room full of drawings and paintings of the birds that have inspired classrooms of children.