New Zealand is a natural spectacle. Since the island drifted away from the main continent, its fauna and flora developed unique ways of growing and made their territory the number one biodiverse place in the world. With a wildlife that blows every human away, ancient forests that have inspired movies, volcanic landscapes, species only found in their land and an incredible coastline, this country gives you a one in a lifetime experience. If you’re interested in getting to know nature at its finest, believe us, New Zealand is the place to visit. Here’s some reasons why.
New Zealand’s marine life is over the top. Endemic species include their one and only type of dolphin that you can swim with, but if you prefer something more quiet you can always go whale watching. The island waters are also home for an enormous amount of fishes, seals, penguins and shellfish, with species you’ve never seen before (and won’t be able to see anywhere else).
During evolution processes most of New Zealand’s birds, seeing themselves completely out of their natural predators back from when they begun to continental land, started to lose their ability to fly. This is why most of endemic birds of New Zealand are flightless rarities, like the kiwi, the takahe, the (now extinct) moa and the kakapo parrot.
Native birds are so important for New Zealand and its turistic structure, even their national symbol is a kiwi: a nocturnal flightless bird that has nostrils on the end of its large beak, now endangered and hard to see in the wild. Fortunately, there’s a lot of zoos and animal sanctuaries where you can go and see them, and also enjoy other types of birds since New Zealand is a bird-watcher’s paradise.
Other birds that you can see in New Zealand and only there are the tui, known for its singing and its white collar; the indigo plumage and red beak of the takahe; the morepork owl and its distinctive night call; the playful and prankish kea, one of the most smart birds in the world, and the flightless weka. A number of natural centers offer you the experience to enjoy all of these species and more at the same place!
Their Very Own Dinosaur
The ancient tuatara is the only beak-headed reptile that’s left in the world, but not only that, every other species of their family disappeared at least 65 million years ago. This unique relic from the past can live over 100 years and doesn’t represent a threat to humans, so visitors can find them on protected offshore islands.
80% of New Zealand’s flora is completely native, making it a special place in the world to visit. Rainfall and sun exposure give them a diversity of its own, with magestic endemic forests that include species like the rimu, the totara, many varieties of beech and the giant kauri, the largest tree of them all. Underneath those treetops you can find countless native shrubs, ferns like you’ve never seen before, liches and many mosses.
Colorful plants are also part of this show, serving splashes of colour everywhere you go. The kowhai tree throws yellow flowers like it’s a party, and the pohutukawa tree is also known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree because its bright red flowers bloom in December all over the North Island.