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The Most Fascinating Wildlife Hotspots In New Zealand
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New Zealand is home to some of the most stunning landscapes on earth and boasts of a rich biodiversity. The country has 14 national parks that protect several endemic species, and most New Zealand tour packages will include a visit to at least one of them. Bird watching, hiking and trekking are the main activities to enjoy in these national parks. However, New Zealand is also home to some other fascinating destinations where you can observe and even interact with its amazing wildlife.
Blue Penguin Colony:
This conservation centre in Oamuru is fantastic for viewing penguins and you can see as many as 180 penguins waddling up the shore in the months of November and December. The penguins arrive just before dark and you can view them from stands that are set up on either side of the route they take. If you visit the Blue Penguin Colony during the day you can take a tour through the centre and learn about their conservation efforts. There are even daytime tour and night viewing packages available that you can include in your New Zealand tour packages.
Royal Albatross Centre:
Pay a visit to this mainland royal albatross colony, the only one of its kind in the world, located at the north end of the Otago Peninsula. December to February is the best time to sight the royal albatross in flight, though they are present throughout the year. There is a main glass observatory to view the royal albatross and the afternoon is the best time for sightings. There is also a special wooden platform near the car park from which you can view penguins wading in around dusk at the nearby Pilot’s Beach.
Otorohanga Kiwi House and National Bird Park:
This centre in Otorohanga is the only place in the country where you can see the great spotted kiwi, the largest of the three kiwi species –a definite highlight of any New Zealand trip. They even have a nocturnal enclosure from which you can observe kiwis digging with their beaks in search of food. Besides the national bird, you can see other endemic bird species such as the kaka, morepork, weka and kea.
Nature’s Wonders Naturally:
This coastal sheep farm, found in the Otago Peninsula, is home to some stunning beaches. Here you can view penguins throughout the day while fur seals are often spotted lazily sunbathing around a few swimming holes. If you’re in luck, you might even get a chance to see whales and penguin chicks. Now, wouldn’t that be the perfect experience to live through in your New Zealand tour packages?
With penguins, royal albatross, fur seals and more, these eco-centres are definitely wildlife hotspots in their own right. Which one are you looking forward to visiting?
About the Author:
Seenu Mathew is a Web UI Designer / Developer with Cox & Kings. Wildlife, travelling and photography are his passions. He recently returned from one of the New Zealand tour packages and would like to share some of the best places to visit (besides the country’s many national parks) to observe the fascinating wildlife of New Zealand.
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