You can still see the most beautiful animals you can find in New Zealand in person. Many of these are unique to the area, mainly due to its interesting history. There were no mammals in New Zealand before its colonization which means a few species lived there freely almost like nowhere else.
Table of Contents
10. New Zealand Falcon
The New Zealand Falcon is a majestic bird. It resembled other species of falcons from around the world. This type of bird is also popular in the Middle East where tourists appreciate it and take photos with trainer falcons.
But in New Zealand, the falcon is rarely spotted out in the open. You’ll have to check it out at one of the country’s reserves in captivity as the bird flies fast and it may be hard to see and watch for long in its true beauty out in the open.
9. Wood Pigeon
The Wood Pigeon resembles the classic pigeon you see around the world’s parks. However, it’s blue color makes it unique. Many blue pigeons are also larger than typical pigeons you see on the street.
Their size also makes them less agile than their European or North American counterparts. These pigeons fly for short periods and at low speed. This is why you can see them around most tree-dense areas around New Zealand.
If you love native birds, New Zealand’s Tui can be one of the most interesting experiences to watch and to hear from someone outside the country. This bird makes very loud noises and from a distance, it sounds metallic and not like a bird at all.
Its look is very distinct as well. These birds are of a dark black and most of them have 2 white features right on their neck. Due to its dark color, the bird might be difficult to spot out in the open. Your best chances of seeing a Tui bird is venturing to one of the countries’ forests where the bird flies at low heights.
7. Chevron Skink
If you love lizards, you may be perpetually looking out for the Chevron Skink. This type of lizard is unlike anything else you’ve seen with its dark yellow-brown color. It’s the country’s longest lizard and this makes it a special sighting
The problem with it is its rarity. Only a few hundred of these lizards have been seen out in the open. You’re not likely to see it yourself, even if you camp in the forest. The best bet is to check it out at a local zoo where you can see it in captivity.
6. Hamilton’s Frog
Many species are endangered in New Zealand. Some of them are about to get extinct as the human population on the islands increases. One of the islands where you can still find rare animals is Stephens Island. It’s here that you can find Hamilton’s Frog.
With a receding population of only a few hundred frogs left, Hamilton’s Frog is managed by conservation projects. You might not be able to see them on your own. The best approach is to discuss your visit and your desire to see this frog with the Department of Conservation before they go completely extinct.
5. Royal Albatross
The Royal Albatross is one of the most popular large birds in the world. With a wide wingspan of a few meters, this is the type of bird that inspires movies and it’s even the name of multiple hotels around the world.
You can see it on the Chatham Islands where you can join one of the wildlife watching tours. The Royal Albatross attracts tourists from around the world on these islands.
4. Maui Dolphin
The Maui Dolphin is a majestic and very rare type of dolphin seen around New Zealand on occasion. Today, it’s believed there are under 100 Maui Dolphins left in open waters as they’re very rare compared to other New Zealand species such as Hector’s Dolphin.
The best sight to see Maui Dolphins is around Manakau Harbour. However, given the rarity of the species, it’s rare to catch sight of the dolphin and you may need to settle with seeing Hector’s Dolphins instead.
3. Yellow-eyed penguin
You can see penguins in a few regions of the world, but not the Yellow-eyed penguin. With its distinct yellow coloring around the eyes, it’s one of the most beautiful penguins in the wild. You may even consider taking photos of this penguin as its population is also declining.
The good news is that you can see it at Caitlin’s beach. Special places where you can hide are available to book which allows you to see this type of New Zealand penguin up close.
Did you know there are parrots that live up in the mountains? Kea is the only species of parrot that lives at high altitudes, similar to eagles. You may even see resemble in how it looks and both eagles and parrots.
Seeing one in real life is difficult since they are mostly found in the Alps. But if you’re in New Zealand, you can also see it around Mount Cook. You can plan a trekking day here where you might see one if you’re lucky.
1. Kiwi Bird
The representative bird of New Zealand is the Kiwi bird. It’s so popular that its name has even been given to the kiwi fruit. Most importantly, you need to know there are 5 Kiwi bird species that you can see out in the wild and in captivity.
If you plan to see one out in nature, you need to prepare your camping gear since it’s a night bird. However, you can also see in captivity if you don’t want to walk around with flashlights and get scared by its screeching. Most zoos around the country have at least a few Kiwi birds for visitors to admire as its part of the country’s national heritage.