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Arthur's Pass is a rather special little Alpine Village right on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. It's the highest town in the South Island.
Our two most famous inhabitants are Kea and Great Spotted Kiwi, but it's the Kea that you are likely to see! Kea are the only alpine parrot, and are an unusually intelligent bird. They are assisted by a dextrous bill, very able claws and a love of play! They have no fear of humans and seem to find human activity and man made objects fascinating. They are also happy to steal or beg for human food (something that they shouldn't get - think feeding a bear only smaller!)
The best places to see Kea are often close to human activity. They are regular visitors to town and the roadside scenic lookouts close to Arthurs Pass. Kea are out and about during the day, and in summer can be found on the surrounding mountain peaks waiting for walkers to arrive!
Seeing them so easily suggests that there are lots of them. Not so however, the number of Kea remaining is estimated at less than 5000. They are at risk from introduced predators like stoats and cats, and also often run over on the road.
For a little more information have a look here - http://www.keaconservation.co.nz/
Written: 3 articles
The Mountain House is the alpine specialist in Arthur's Pass. We provide all ranges of accommodation and can assist with gear storage, tramping information, plus provide a trampers shuttle to get you out there. We are within 2 hours of Christchurch.