If you’re a first-time traveler to New Zealand, you don’t want to leave without checking out some of the weird and wonderful wildlife first. We take a look at three very accessible spots where you can see the wilder side of the country.
Royal Albatross Centre, Otago Peninsula
Situated on the wild 20km long harbour of coastal Otago, the Royal Albatross Centre is somewhere even David Attenborough suggests you go. The only mainland breeding colony of the huge and impressive bird, be wowed by up close tours as they go about their day to day business. Smaller birds more your style? The Little Blue Penguin colony also resides nearby, so make the most of the peninsula’s abundant wildlife and see both!
If you’re wanting to experience what bird life would look and sound like before the destructive years of human and rodent inhabitance, take a wander through the world’s first fully-fenced urban eco sanctuary – Zealandia. Finding an unlikely home in the busy capital, the plus side is Zealandia is super accessible and what’s more, the establishment has been so successful that locals have reported cases of some birds (like the bright green Kåkåriki) starting to leave the sanctuary and populate outer areas.
Whale Watching, Kaikoura
Nothing beats the magic and power of seeing whales in the wild up close, and for lucky travelers passing through Kaikoura this is an experience made easy thanks to a handful of reputable whale watching companies. Hop aboard one of the modern catamarans where staff will use underwater microphones to detect Sperm whales ‘ticking’ and take you close enough to get that perfect tail fin shot!