There are a wide variety of New Zealand animals, many of them unique to New Zealand because of the country's isolation.
From the cheeky Kea, a parrot that inhabits the alpine regions, and which takes great delight in chewing wiper blades and other rental car bits, to the iconic Kiwi, New Zealand's fauna offers the traveller an amazing selection of fascinating subjects to study and photograph.
The Kiwi is very difficult to spot in the wild, but thankfully there are several animal parks around the country where you can view these elusive birds, most notably at Wellington's Zealandia, and Auckland Zoo.
Due to it's isolation, New Zealand has no snakes, a bonus for those tramping (hiking) on the many walks through New Zealand. They do have several varieties of reptiles, including the amazing Tuatara,which is found nowhere else on earth. This throwback to the age of dinosaurs is found only on 32 offshore islands, where predators are rare.
|The Tuatara is found only on offshore islands.||This is the larrikin parrot known as a Kea.||The kiwi is a flightless bird native to New Zealand.|
New Zealand also has a wide variety of marine mammals including
various species of dolphins, whales and seals. It is possible to
interact with some of these mammals on the numerous whale watching tours
available around the country. And it's also possible to view seals at various locations around the country. There are several colonies at Kaikoura on the South Island's East Coast, and another at Cape Foulwind on the wild West Coast.
Unfortunately, there are also a variety of introduced pests including possums, rabbits, hares, stoat, weasel, deer, wild pig, goat and hedgehog. New Zealander's generally take a dim view of these pests, and trapping and eradication programs are common.