Here is a summary of some special animals we treasure here in New Zealand.
Kiwi – A flightless bird, about the size of a chicken. The national symbol of New Zealand. Most likely to be seen in Auckland Zoo, Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, Zealandia in Wellington, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch, Ulva Island/Stewart Island sometimes in the wild.
Kea – An alpine parrot found mainly in the forests and alpine areas of the South Island (and also in Auckland Zoo).
It is a beautiful olive green colour with orange feathers under its wings. They are known as cheeky, even pesky birds who will pull away at the rubber parts of a car.
Kereru – Also known as the New Zealand wood pigeon, this bird is found all over the country and its wings make a distinctive ‘woosh’ sound as they fly by.
Tui – Also a popular beer brand name here, the tui bird is all black with a distinctive white tuft of feathers on its neck. They can be seen over much of New Zealand in their natural habitat.
Kakapo – This beautiful parrot is noctural and flightless, it is also the world’s heaviest parrot. It is yellow/green in colour and extremely endangered with less than 200 parrots left. They are mainly living on predator free islands. Read more about their recovery here.
Takahe – This is another flightless bird that is purple and blue in colour with a red beak…almost a fatter version of the common Pukeko. Tiritirimatangi Island, Zealandia in Wellington and Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre in Tararua are all places that you might be able to see this beautiful bird.
Tuatara – The Tuatara is a lizard looking reptile. They were around when there were dinosaurs which make them of particular interest to many people. They mainly exist in off shore islands but can be seen at many wildlife centres and zoos thorughout the country.