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“About six miles up the river branched in many small arms, and my progress was put to an end by large trees lying across. Dense bush on both sides of the river, the beautiful kowhai trees abounding and almost all shrubs in flower made this a real pleasure trip. But the crowning beauty was a cranery which I discovered up the river, and that was a glorious sight... Imagine seeing around you from 50 to 60 (of these birds) sitting on high pines and lower trees in a circle of about 150 yards, their pure white feathers shining in the sun... They were not at all shy (and) kept up a continual “plappering" among themselves and seemed to be astonished at me more than afraid... ”

"Gerhard Mueller, first District Surveyor for South Westland, encamped at the mouth of the Waitangitaona River on New Year’s Eve, 1865."

The place, which we visited in our busy 2009, wouldn't be better described, by cited above. Everything happened exactly as it's described here, with only difference, that nowadays we had a powerful speedboat to cut time of our journey through labyrinth of narrow channels on West Coast's lowland.

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Additional Photos by Nikolai Vakhroushev (blagov58) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 22 W: 0 N: 42] (331)
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