The Amazing wildlife of New Zealand

New Zealand is famed for its jaw-dropping and cinematic-sized scenery. But this extraordinary landscape is also home to diverse and unique wildlife experiences, from majestic whale sightings to charming penguins, African-styled savannahs and mesmerising glowworm tunnels. Find out about all the ways to get up close to New Zealand wildlife and where the best places to see wildlife in New Zealand can be found.

Whale watching in Christchurch

Whale watching is something that can’t be missed. Image from Getty.

Christchurch, on the South Island, is arguably the whale watching capital of New Zealand. While sperm whales and dolphins can be seen all year round, there are two main migration seasons to watch out for. From May to October, you can spot breaching humpback whales, southern right whales and pilot whales. While in the warmer months from November until March, you might see migrating orca pods and blue whales on the move. 

Another popular wildlife experience in Christchurch is the International Antarctic Centre Christchurch. The centre houses rescue penguins at its Little Blue Penguin sanctuary – marvel at these creatures at the twice daily feeding time by the outdoor viewing area and pool auditorium. You can even enjoy breakfast with the penguins, which includes an informative talk on Little Blue Penguins and Antarctica. 

Where to stay

Set in a peaceful location amongst beautifully manicured rose gardens, and close to the city centre, Quality Hotel Elms is the perfect place to base yourself. 

Incredible glowworm tunnels of Taupō

Glowworms in Taupō. Image from Getty.

Formed over millions of years, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are an underground network of limestone caverns that are home to thousands of brilliant glowworms. A tour of the caves will get you close to these mesmerising creatures. You can even take a boat ride through the glowworm grotto and learn about the cave’s cultural and natural history. 

Made up of two levels, this natural attraction included an upper level that features stunning cave formations and a lower level that is home to mesmerising displays of glowworm, as well as the stream passages and the cave system’s tallest chamber – the Cathedral. 

Where to stay

Relax in a self-contained villa in landscaped gardens at Quality Suites Huka Falls or by the idyllic natural beauty of Lake Taupo at Quality Inn Acapulco Taupō.

Diverse and unique wildlife in Auckland

Asian elephant checks out a log… Auckland Zoo, Auckland, New Zealand. Image from Getty.

One of the largest zoos in New Zealand, Auckland Zoo encompasses over 40 acres of diverse habitats – from African savannahs to Asian forests and alpine wilderness. For 100 years this impressive zoo has been home to a huge range of rare and unique species, and today you’ll meet everything from rhinos and elephants to red pandas. Some of the popular exhibits include the Pridelands, Te Wao Nui, the Tropical Rainforest, and the New Zealand precinct.

For an intimate experience, Kiwi Valley Farm is a petting zoo Auckland experience that provides hands-on opportunities for families and young children to interact with animals up close. This farm environment lets kids feed and interact with farm animals in a supervised environment. You’ll also enjoy horse and pony rides – as well as tractor rides and hidden caves.

Where to stay

Relax in beautiful surroundings, with the beautiful west coast beaches and wildlife experiences close by, at Quality Hotel Lincoln Green.

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