Before humans arrived, New Zealand was a world of birds and plants. Here you will find some of the world's most unique birdlife. Unique wildlife encounters and natural spectacles are two of New Zealand's biggest attractions.
Within the space of one day, you can experience ancient forests, volcanic landscapes, mountain vistas and stunning coastlines all while spotting New Zealand wildlife found nowhere else on earth.
Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park
If you want to see Kiwi up close, then a visit to Otorohanga Kiwi House is the place to go. The not-for-profit wildlife and conservation center has been breeding Kiwi since 1971. The birds are on display all day in the special nocturnal houses. It also breeds rare and endangered native New Zealand Wildlife.
The family-friendly park offers Kiwi viewing of two of New Zealand's species - Great Spotted Kiwi and Brown Kiwi. The park also has ponds, wetland areas and walk-through aviaries including a giant dome aviary.
Whale Watch Kaikoura
The picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura, located on the South Island, is the perfect place for marine life encounters and coastal walks. An easy two-hour drive north of Christchurch, Kaikoura makes for a great day trip or a fun stop.
New Zealand's leading whale watching company offers an exciting up-close encounter with the world's largest toothed predator, the Giant Sperm Whale, in their natural environment at all times of the year. On a typical encounter, you'll see New Zealand fur seals, pods of Dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season, you may also see migrating Humpback whales, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Southern Right whales.
Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience
Located in Wellington on the North Island, Zealandia is a self-contained mainland island. The Sanctuary is a unique eco-sanctuary for New Zealand's native wildlife. Here the rare species are living wild within one square mile of regenerating forest. The area is surrounded by a ground-breaking pest-proof fence.
You can choose from 32 kilometers of track to spot Kara, the playful forest parrot, tuatara, a reptilian living fossil, saddleback, hihi falcon, takahe, weta, tui, and many more. For a real treat, it is suggested that visitors book a night tour to seek out the iconic spotted Kiwi and other nocturnal creatures.
The Maori are the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand, a Polynesian people, most closely related to eastern Polynesians. The Maori arrived in New Zealand, which was then known as "The Land of the Long White Cloud", around AD950 by canoe. Because the area was warmer, they mostly settled in the Northern parts of New Zealand.
Because the Maori culture is an integral part of Kiwi life, a visit to any of these will add a dynamic and unique experience. Below are three Mauri experiences.
Situated in Rotorua, Te Pula is an iconic destination for visitors. It is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the world famous Pohutu geyser. Many of the guides have direct links to Rotorua's earliest hosts and share stories and insight into this unique corner of the world.
Along with access to the world famous Polutu geyser, visitors have an opportunity to see Maori cultural performances, live kiwi, boiling mud pools, native bush and the National Schools of Wood Carving and Weaving. There is also the opportunity to watch food cooked to perfection in the steam of the geyser.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Located in the Bay of Island, New Zealand's most important historic site, where you can discover the history of the country, is Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
The story of Waitangi begins the journey of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Enjoy an inspiring and interactive full day experience through performances in Waitangi's contemporary museum, the powerful Maori cultural authentic Meeting House. Take an entertaining guided tour, view a Maori waka (canoe) and finally a hangi (feast). There is also a tranquil cafe and much more.
Lush native forest and gardens, inspiring art gallery and carving studo are a "must-do" for all visitors to New Zealand. The award-winning Waitangi Treaty Grounds is one of the nation's premier attractions and tells Zew Zealand's story of two peoples coming together as one.
Skyline Queenstown - Kiwi Haka
Located in Queenstown at the top of the Gondola, Kiwi Haka is an intimate theatre surrounded by traditional decorations and mythical carved legends of the Wakatipu.
Feel the spirit of the proud Maori history celebrated in traditional song and dance as you journey through the mystical legends. Experience the fearsome Haka and stunning poa displayed in this live performance by the Kapa Huka group. You may also be chosen out of the audience to be a participant.
Throughout their culture, their values, and their customs, they pay tribute to Papatuanuku (the earth mother) and their natural world that sustains all living things.
Since my first trip to Australia in 1998, I have returned to the South Pacific over 30 times. On each visit I meet with hoteliers, tour companies, car companies, cruise companies and other suppliers in the region. With this knowledge, I am able to answer your questions and assist you in planning the memorable vacation of your dreams.