Friday, 1 June 2018

Mercury Island - Hikes, Sheep Shearing, Easter and Scallops

On our way south to Tauranga we stopped for a "few days" anchored off Great Mercury Island.  As we were puttering around to check out a spot to anchor a tender rushed out towards us.  Knowing the island was privately owned we wondered if were going to be "told off".  Nope, it was a friendly welcome and an invite to use one of the really nice moorings well into the protected Huruhi Harbour.  When we shut off the engine the first thing we noticed was the bird song and then with a bit of research we found out we were moored a few hundred metres from Sir Michael Faye's house.

Much of the bird song comes from the recent conservation effort funded jointly by the islands owners, Faye and Richwhite, and the NZ Department of Conversation.  An interesting story that that we learnt more about talking to the island's ranger and covered in this article on Mercury Island.

We later moved around to the south side of the island to do a hike there and the kids ended playing cricket with the grandchildren of one of the island's owners while we shared beer and bubbly with the owner's son and wife.  Nice folks.

Overlooking Huruhi Harbour on Great Mercury Island

Fluenta is off to the lower right and Sir Michael Faye's house is in the centre.
Fluenta on a nice, new mooring with Sir Michael Faye's house behind us.

Chatting about conservation with the ranger.  He used to work on superyachts and noticed my Marshall Islands shirt.
Looking at different qualities of wool
Shearers at work.  They are fast and efficient.
 According to Māori legend, the white cliffs in the distance guided the first explorer, Kupe, to New Zealand

The beach on the south of Mercury Island.

Nice hike to a waterfall.
A bit of cricket with one of the families that own the island

Scallops !  Easy diving for scallops.

Easter Egg hunt.
Easter Dinner

More dolphins.

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