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New Zealand Bird Watching Holidays

The unique biodiversity of New Zealand, with its verdant forest, steep mountains, rugged coastline and sandy beaches, are home to an incredible range of bird species, many of which are only found in New Zealand.

Species indigenous to New Zealand birds include the boisterous and widespread tui; the kokako, an endangered forest bird and the flightless takahe which was once though to be extinct, but was rediscovered in 1948.

North Island

Zealandia: the Karori Sanctuary Experience, located just 10 minutes from the city of Wellington, is home to some of the country’s rarest and most endangered wildlife including kiwis and parrots. A night safari is highly recommended, when the native bush comes alive with the calls of nocturnal birds.

You can also visit the largest and most accessible gannet colony in the world at Cape Kidnappers and be amazed at their antics as they preen, nest, fly and perform the famous ‘dance of the gannets’.

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South Island

Off the southernmost tip of South Island is Stewart Island, a largely inaccessible place where some of New Zealand’s rarest native birds find sanctuary. Its landscape of sandy beaches and coast-to-coast rainforest are the natural habitat of the nocturnal kiwi, making it one of the best places to observe this bird in the wild. Join a night tour along the beach and you might glimpse this shy bird, one of life’s unforgettable wildlife encounters.

Furthermore, visit Otago Peninsula with its rich birdlife including yellow-eyed penguins, little blue penguins and Albatross colonies. On the wild West Coast, colonies of rare black petrels, white herons and blue penguins breed. Further north Farewell Spit Nature Reserve, the county’s longest sandspit, is a world-class sanctuary home to over 90 species of birds.