Auckland Flora & Fauna

Southern Brown Kiwi - Photo by Glen Fergus, Wikimedia Creative CommonsSouthern Brown Kiwi - Photo by Glen Fergus, Wikimedia Creative Commons

Seagulls will happily accompany picnickers, at any given point on the coast. But keep an eye out for terns, cormorants or shags, and the sleek, fast-moving yellow-headed gannet too. A vast colony of these birds make their home at Muriwai on Auckland’s west coast, and their nests, seen up close from viewing platforms, are one of city’s greatest sights with your New Zealand campervan hire.

Wherever there are gannets, you will often spy dolphins as these incredible mammals often team up to hunt vast shoals of fish. Several pods of dolphins regularly visit Auckland’s harbour beaches, and a great many more reside amongst the islands of the Hauraki Gulf.

For a closer look, hop aboard Explore NZ’s stable catamaran, the Dolphin Explorer; chances are you will get to spy upon whales and a range of other wild marine life too.

Penguins, sharks and dozens of varieties of fish can also be seen at Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, where a moving walkway passes through a huge transparent tunnel filled with sea creatures. The huge stingray pool features an assortment of magnificent rays with metre-wide wingspans, and a highlight for kids and adults alike is a Snow Cat ride through a world of snow and ice to see a colony of King and Gentoo penguins.

To view other native wildlife including kiwi, New Zealand’s iconic flightless bird, and tuatara, a reptile whose form has not changed since the age of the dinosaurs, head to the Auckland Zoo.

With thanks to Tourism Radio for their content supplied. Tourism Radio is like having your own tour guide - providing you with audio commentary of over 2000 points of interest in New Zealand. It is available for rental with any vehicle booked on

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