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Australasian Bat Society 2020 Conference & AGM

Social Activities

Welcoming Function – Saturday evening

The Welcoming Function will be held at the Distinction Hotel from 6 - 9 pm on Saturday 7th March. Gourmet finger food, sufficient for dinner, will be provided. Drinks will be available for purchase at the bar. This is a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends from the ABS community, or meet new people from across the region.  


Your registration pack will be available for collection at this function. The cost of the evening is included in the registration fee for conference delegates. Accompanying people are welcome at a cost of AUD $28, NZD $30.  


Conference Dinner – Sunday evening

The Conference Dinner will be held from 6-10 pm on Sunday 8th March at the Mackinnon Restaurant, Distinction Hotel. Dinner will consist of a four-course meal, and includes one complimentary drink with additional drinks available for purchase at the bar. Please advise us of any special dietary requirements when you register. The cost of the dinner is included in your registration fee, but if you would like to bring somebody else along the cost is AUD $67, NZD $72 for each extra person.


An auction will be held during the conference dinner to raise funds for travel grants for the next ABS conference, so please bring along items to contribute to this worthwhile fund-raising event.


Guided Walk and Close Encounters at Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

Bird Sanctuary Mission

Punanga Manu o Te Anau/ Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, run by the Department of Conservation (DOC), is located in a picturesque setting on the shores of lake Te Anau. The birds held in aviaries here have either been injured and cannot survive in the wild, or they are involved in captive breeding for release programmes to re-establish wild populations in restored habitats. The stars of the sanctuary are the endemic and threatened takahe, kaka and Antipodes Island parakeets. Visitors can also expect to see a variety of native residents living freely in the park-like setting, including tui, bellbirds and kereru/wood pigeon.


Guided Walk Details

The DOC Ranger in Charge of the Bird Sanctuary is offering late afternoon guided tours for ABS conference delegates and family members on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th March 2020, from 5.45-6.30 pm. On the tour you will meet the colourful characters who are residents of the sanctuary, learn their back stories, find out how their species are faring in the wild, and what DOC is doing to help. You will also have the opportunity to enter the takahe enclosure for a closer encounter with these rare birds.


The usual guided tour fee has been heavily discounted for conference delegates and their families (AUD $4.70, NZD $5). All proceeds go directly towards care of the birds and aviary upkeep. When registering indicate your preferred date to tour the park, however if the group limit of 30 has been reached, delegates will be offered the option of joining the tour on the alternative date on a first-come first-served basis.


On the day of your tour, meet in the foyer of the Distinction Hotel at 5.15 pm to be taken on a 25-minute walk (2 km) along the lakeshore to the Sanctuary where your tour will begin. Alternatively, delegates who have their own transport and prefer to drive to the sanctuary (5 mins) can meet the group there at 5.45 pm.

Note that the park is open to the public so you may choose to visit the Bird Sanctuary independently at another time and explore the grounds at your leisure, without a guide, for a gold coin donation.

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