Wildlife in New Zealand

Most New Zealand tourism on offer doesn’t do justice to this theme. We consider wildlife to be an important part of the country.

Except for the rare, but nevertheless endearing, kiwi birds that are mostly hidden in the remote native forest, wildlife in New Zealand revolves around a strong ocean connection and kilometres of coastlines.

Hector’s dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins are fascinating endemic species. Whales, Fiordland crested penguins, blue penguins, fur seals, albatrosses and many birds are also worth being on your watch list.

We could add possums to the list, but seeing them alive is rare - most of them are dead on the road.

You might find New Zealanders are little harsh on the subject. They are fond of saying that a good possum is a dead possum. Introducing them to New Zealand for their fur in 1838 was a mistake as they have flourished here without any predators to keep their numbers in check. They are now a major scourge on the country's flora and fauna, each possum eating around 1kg of new plant growth per night. They also attack native bird's nests, eating their eggs.

Visiting the habitats of rare or endangered wild animals such as the different species of penguins, seals, whales and dolphins will take you to magical and isolated places. It will give you an opportunity to visit towns and cities that are often overlooked, like Akaroa, Oamaru, Napier, Dunedin or Invercargill.

By participating in the following activities you will be helping to support both public and private initiatives looking to safeguard and protect our natural heritage.  

Note. These tours are not in zoos but rely on the presence and behaviour of wild animals. You will not always have the same sightings and very occasionally you may not get to see the intended species. It's all part of the adventure and excitement!

Get Inspired

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What our customers say

Carolyn, I thought we should tell you how much we enjoyed the trip. NZ was great - the people, the food, the scenery. We liked all the places you booked for us. Thanks so much f... - Glynis Williams, USA

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