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bird waching

birdWhy not enjoy a quite day out with the family by watching some of our native birds in their natural habitat? Witness New Zealand’s national bird, the flightless Kiwi, the tui and the piwakawaka (fantail). Watch seabirds along our shores or visit a breeding colony – the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. Or experience the gannet colony at Muriwai, Kiwi at Tawharanui and Kokako in the Hunua Ranges.


The Royal Albatross Centre provides award winning wildlife tours of the Otago Peninsula, including onsite albatross viewing tours, interactive marineconservation displays and historical tours of Tairoa Head. It is the only mainland place in the world to view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat.


Brave the rugged windswept coastline of Muriwai to see the impressive sight of the gannet colony, one of the only three mainland gannet colonies in the country. Around 1200 pairs of gannets nest on the rocky cliff-tops from August to March, with the chicks hatching in November. There are two viewing platforms which are great vantage points allowing you to get the best view and get up close.


Tawharanui Regional Park is a large park north of Auckland with a multitude of walking tracks and bird watching opportunities. Just one day there is enough to see and hear the native bird species when walking the ecology trail. You can hear the sound of cicada and the birdsong of wood pigeons, bellbird, tui and whiteheads. This track passes through farmland and provides no shelter at all, but the great views of the sea, Little Barrier, Kawerauand Great Barrier Islands makes up for it.