With bags packed for the last time we headed off towards Christchurch. We grabbed some lunch and made a couple of quick stops along the way, but there wasn’t a lot of time to bird with the focus being to get everyone to Christchurch on time.
We passed through some stunning scenery though, with Mount Cook again standing magnificently clear again, and the surrounding mountains covered in snow. As we got closer to the coast we entered the Canterbury Plains, the low flat arable land that surrounds Christchurch and the other coastal cities. Crossing several large braided rivers we could easily see the extent of the weed problem with most of these rivers choked with introduced lupins and other weeds. The Ashburton River however did have a massive black-billed gull breeding colony which was great to see, and hopefully they are successful in rearing their chicks to fledging this season.
We then arrived in Christchurch city, dropping off at several hotels near the Airport, and then finally the last of the group at Christchurch Airport. After 21-days on the road we said our good-byes to new friends, hard to believe it was all over.
Day total – Seen = 31; new for the trip = 0; total for the trip to date = 162