Along with its sprawling national parks, New Zealand is also home to smaller wildlife reserves and sanctuaries that can offer you a getaway into the beautiful natural world. Not only new places around the world but the amazing unique species living there make explorations worthy.
The Best Wildlife Reserves In New Zealand
New Zealand is home to some of the most amazing and threatened species of insects, animals, and plants. Over the last centuries, colonialism and farming have destroyed much of the natural expanses here.
However, several wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves are being regeneration pockets, holding on to the native flora and fauna of New Zealand. More than tourist attractions, these places are preservation areas for natural treasures.
1. Zealandia, Wellington
On the mission of recreating the pre-human environmental conditions in New Zealand, this urban-eco sanctuary is a great place to explore. However, this big mission may take over 500 years to complete.
Therefore, it’s better to reach here to meet the amazing wildlife species. Predators are kept out of this area with a 5.3-mile fence. Recently, several new species have been introduced here. They include takahe birds, tuatara lizards, and kiwis. You may take up day or night tours based on your interest to get nearer to New Zea’s wildlife.
2. Mou Waho, Wanaka
Beautifully seated amid the Lake Wanaka, Mou Waho is just another wildlife sanctuary where native wildlife and plant species are thriving. Moreover, it’s special and beautiful because of the lake.
Well, there’s something more, there’s a lake on an island in a lake. It is one of the most popular day tour destinations from Wanaka. You will surely enjoy short walks and camping on the island.
3. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, Waikato
Surrounded by a 29-mile pest-proof fence, this “mainland ecological island” will be one of your best visits. Various endangered animal and bird species including tuataras, kiwis, giant seats, and takahe. You can stroll around or go hiking on the mountain amid stunning views.
If you’re really passionate about the environment and its incredible elements, go for a guided nature walk with one of the best conservationists. A few hours away from Hamilton, you should consider visiting here once.
4. Orokonui Ecosanctuary, Dunedin
Amid the hills near Dunedin city, this ecosanctuary takes you amid a wide range of native bird species. You will be astounded to meet these vibrant creatures while New Zealand’s native birds are generally expected to be muted in shade. There are tuis, takahe, and kakas to greet you. It is a great place to grab some good vibes around.
5. Kapiti Island, Kapiti Coast
This is one of the most easily accessible island nature reserves in New Zealand situated off the Kapiti Coast. There are various coastal birds including gulls and shags along with other forest birds like kaka, tuis, kereru, and bellbird.
You can set out for moderate walks on this island and cherish the views from the top of the peak, 1,700 foot high. Do away your bookings in advance since only selective tour operators can take visitors here. It’s a popular place to visit in the summer. Weather is a crucial factor affecting trips here. So, plan accordingly.
6. Moturoa Island, Marlborough Sounds
Travelers have to cross this island before they reach out to the open ocean at Cook Strait. The entire island is a paradise for bird lovers and has been entitled as a wildlife sanctuary. Here you will find the kiwi birds that have been brought from the Franz Joseph Glacier. There are several other birds that have been transferred here.
It is also a significant place in the history of New Zealand. It is known to be the place where Captain James Cook proclaimed British sovereignty on the South Island in the year 1770. You get on one of the wildlife-focused boat tours that start from Picton.
7. Tiritiri Matangi, Hauraki Gulf
This island sanctuary is situated about 18 miles from Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf. It is one of the most important conservation projects in New Zealand. It was used for farming for more than a century, losing all of its native bushes.
However, they were replanted in the 1980s and 1990s. You will find thick forests and grasslands here. All the mammalian predators have been eradicated from here. You can get a ferry up to here to let you explore the colorful bird species here.
Embrace your love for nature and its creations at these amazing wildlife reserves in New Zealand.