That’s right, New Zealand isn’t just all about the sheep… Learning about how wildlife evolves on an isolated set of islands in the South Pacific is just an added bonus to living in New Zealand. Museums, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation centres can educate you on New Zealand’s fascinating wildlife mostly made up of birds, reptiles, and insects and not to mention the marine wildlife!
With no land predators, except for birds of prey, birds in New Zealand evolved into a mix of flightless birds and melodic forest birds. As a result, you may find that many birds in New Zealand are likely to come to check you out when you are in forests as they don’t see you as a threat.
Reptiles are a little more elusive, made up with the likes of geckos and the tuatara known as the “living fossil” or “living dinosaur”. In the ocean waters, a boat trip is often accompanied by dolphins and sometimes whales. Seals, eels and stingray are also abundant in New Zealand’s waters.
Let me tell you a few facts about the wildlife that abounds on our idyllic island nation.
There are 6 different species of penguin in New Zealand. Out of the world’s 17 different penguin species, six of them live and breed in New Zealand! The most common species seen when travelling around New Zealand are the little blue penguins, yellow-eyed penguins and Fiordland-crested penguins. To increase your chances of seeing wild penguins in a non-intrusive way is to go on a wildlife-spotting tour.
There are many penguin-spotting options in New Zealand, from the commercial operations where you are most likely to see penguins to seeing them by chance on New Zealand’s beaches.