New Zealand has unique wildlife

It's a reason many travelers come to New Zealand. Different animals and birds are more likely to be seen in different parts of the country.

This is a guide to seeing popular native animals and birds in New Zealand. On tours, you can either see these animals in the wild or in wildlife parks. 

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the Kiwi Bird

The national symbol of New Zealand the Kiwi is a flightless bird. Can prove difficult to spot these endangered birds in the wild, they are the size of a domestic chicken, so keep your eyes out for them when walking in the National Parks.

Kea Parrot

These alpine parrots can be spotted on the drive to Milford Sound. They are a very cheeky bird, coming up close to you and trying to jump on your car or take food from you. Makes for a very funny picture!

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Fur Seals

These New Zealand fur seals can be seen whilst taking a kayaking trip in Able Tasman, or walking along the coast line near Wellington. At Ohau point in Kaikoura is where you will spot a large colony of seals, including lots of seal pups.

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Again Kaikoura is the place to be for lots of native wildlife in New Zealand. The dolphins that live in the wild here get very close to you and can be very playful as you snorkel around with the pod. The number of dolphins that are in a pod can vary from 50 to the upwards of 2000 depending on the time of year. In the Bay of Islands there is also the 'hole in the rock' boat trip that allows you to spot lots of Dolphins.


The Yellow Eyed Penguin can be found in the deep south of New Zealand's South Island, in the Catlins. With only around 5000 left in the wild, these little guys can be hard to spot. Take a little walk along the beach at dusk, keeping very quiet and observant and you may be in luck. 

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Glow Worms are the larvae of a small fly. The larval stage is the only stage in their life cycle that can glow. In New Zealand there are glowworms in the Waitomo Caves in the North Island and in Te Anau in the South Island, they are a must see for any visitor. 

Tours to get you there

Bike rides along amazing landscapes

9 Day Southern Light Christchurch to Queenstown Tour

Explore the lesser known spots that other tour groups don't visit. Whether it's a secret glow-worm walk at night, a lush rainforest-fringed pool for a dip, a bike ride along deserted roads hugging the coast or a local cafe that serves quite possibly the best muffins in New Zealand.

Explore more of NZ’s best National Parks

28 Day Ultimate Explorer Auckland to Auckland Tour

Quite possibly the best thing you can do in New Zealand. Grab life with both hands on this in depth, all-points covered action and adventure wilderness experience. This trip guarantees to show you the best of the North and South Island and the experience of a lifetime. .