Campervan Hire Nelson: Flora & Fauna

New Zealand Longfin eel - Photo by Gusmonkeyboy, Wikimedia CommonsNew Zealand Longfin eel - Photo by Gusmonkeyboy, Wikimedia Commons

As you drive around Nelson in a rental campervan you'll find local rivers teem with long finned eels, a species threatened by pollution and commercial fishing. These eels are the largest freshwater eel in the world and have evolved over a period of 65 million years.

Found in New Zealand’s waterways, they live to around 60 years of age, and breed only once in a lifetime, swimming some 5000 kilometres north of New Zealand to Tonga to do so, their tiny larvae floating back to New Zealand on currents and entering river systems in July and November every year.

Close encounters with other unique marine life can be had at the Horoirangi Marine Reserve located at the northern end of the Boulder Bank on snorkelling and diving expeditions, or by exploring the intertidal zone.

Sponges, some of which are quite large are a notable feature of this reserve and more common species such as crayfish, wrasses, goatfish, blue cod, blue moki and tarakihi, can also be seen. Back on terrafirma, native wildlife such as kiwi, kea, tui, kakariki, tuatara, gecko, and skinks, can be viewed at Natureland Zoo at Tahunanui Beach, an outfit dedicated to the conservation of endangered species through captive breeding programmes.

Thanks to Tourism Radio for much of the content supplied about Nelson. 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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