134 people found this article useful

11 Animals and Birds Unique to New Zealand

http://www.medicinehunter.com/sites/default/files/maui_dolphin_leaping_684.jpg?1333571758

New Zealand’s weird and wonderful wildlife!

New Zealand was an island free of land mammals before us pesky humans arrived. In turn, this means a few unusual species of animals and birds evolved that that are well worth looking out for while backpacking in New Zealand.

From the alpine parrots to “living dinosaurs”, there are quite a few surprises to be found on land. Not forgetting the marine life living it up in New Zealand’s waters like the world’s smallest dolphins or super cute fur seals.

Can’t get enough of those animals? Wildlife encounters are one of the most rewarding and intriguing New Zealand backpacking experiences, which you can learn more about here.

Like us on Facebook

1. kiwi Bird

The kiwi bird is the nation’s sweetheart. However, you won’t just find them wandering the streets and stealing your fries. Check out how to spot these rare creatures in our kiwi article.

http://megahdwall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Age-Of-Conan-X-Animals-Birds-Kiwi-Bird-Colorful-516099.jpg

2. Pekapeka Bat

The only two species left are the lesser short-tailed bat and long-tailed bat. They are the only native land mammal of New Zealand.

http://37.media.tumblr.com/76e9e12aee4828549f3d8e8a2c2dc91e/tumblr_mroctiszAZ1r9xu24o1_500.jpg

3. Hector’s Dolphin

Hector’s dolphins are the world’s smallest dolphin species. They are named after Sir James Hector, who first examined a dolphin specimen. You can mostly spot them riding the waves in the South Island in these locations.

http://37.media.tumblr.com/76e9e12aee4828549f3d8e8a2c2dc91e/tumblr_mroctiszAZ1r9xu24o1_500.jpg

4. Kea Parrot

Kea are the only alpine parrot in the world and are most commonly found in the Arthur’s Pass National Park and on the road to Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park. Warning: these cheeky parrots like dismantling cars.

http://www.adventurecloud.com/img/s3/v43/p479320971-3.jpg

5. Hamilton’s Frog

A fun fact: Hamilton’s frogs do not croak.

http://www.nhc.net.nz/index/frogs-new-zealand/hamiltons-frog/imagesStephens%20Island%20Frog%20hamiltons.jpg

6. Yellow-Eyed Penguins

Yellow-eyed penguins are found around the south east of New Zealand, Banks Peninsula and Stewart Island. Check out our penguin-spotting list.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Megadyptes_antipodes_-Otago_Peninsula,_Dunedin,_New_Zealand_-family-8.jpg

7. Chevron Skink Lizards

These lizards are only found on the Great Barrier Island and Little Barrier Island.

http://nativefaunaofnewzealand.yolasite.com/resources/chevron.jpg?timestamp=1245654339145

8. Little Blue Penguins

Little blue penguins are not completely unique to New Zealand, but New Zealand sure has the most amount waddling on the southern coastlines and off-shore islands. Check out places to spot them here.

http://www.donteverlookback.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/penguins.jpg

9. Fur Seal

Although fur seals tend to stick to the coast, they have been known to wander into people’s backyards.

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/005/cache/fur-seal_531_600x450.jpg?01AD=3Czy-Ry_j9Q7z5S5Yjpr3bgdv6VP8AfXs2qs-egDLQRrWu_2N3DQQNQ&01RI=073255A0FF6D5BB&01NA=

10. Tuatara

Tuataras are the only surviving reptile species from the dinosaur era.

http://www.rainbowsprings.co.nz/file/wild_native/cms_half_width_tua.jpg

11. Maui Dolphin

This is just a subspecies of Hector’s Dolphin. Honestly, who doesn’t want more pictures of dolphins?

http://www.medicinehunter.com/sites/default/files/maui_dolphin_leaping_684.jpg?1333571758

Want to do some animal activities or just can’t get enough of cute pictures? Visit 8 Wildlife Activites in New Zealand.

Working Holiday New Zealand
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Working Holiday Insurance
http://www.iap2.org.au/sb_cache/conference/id/350/f/Christchurch%20Image.jpg
South Island Cities

Christchurch City – Guide for Backpackers

A city of shopping, Gardens and sandy shores. Christchurch is described as [...]

http://aht.seriouseats.com/images/2013/03/20130213-240798-fergburger-queestown-pork-belly-edit.jpg
South Island

15 Free or Cheap Things to do in Queenstown

Free and cheap activities in Queenstown. It’s no secret: Queenstown is a [...]

backpackerguide.nz
Art & Culture

10 Tips to Find Greenstone in Hokitika

How to find greenstone in Hokitika. Hokitika is world famous for its [...]

Environment

5 Ways to Save a Kiwi Bird

You can help protect kiwi too! Not only are kiwi birds unique [...]

Search
Popular searches: Budget, Free, Jobs, Travel Tips, Rotorua
HiFX - Money Transfer
Hot on Backpacker Guide
South Island Regions
http://www.tikana.co.nz/images/News-home.jpg

Southland – Guide for Backpackers

What to do and where to visit in the south of the […]

Lord Of The Rings
BackpackerGuide.NZ

New Zealand is Middle Earth

No really, it is. Any “Ringer” or “Tolkienist” will be sad to […]

Natural Attractions
http://cdn.offtrackplanet.com/legacy/002/5-ways-to-tear-through-glaciers-in-new-zealand/hike-below-alt.jpg

7 Ways to Take on New Zealand’s Glaciers

There’s more to exploring the glaciers than a heli tour! With the […]

FB Group
Join the group!
Join the group!

Ask questions to our writers, post notices, share with travellers, show pictures, meet other backpackers, ...

Join our Facebook group