For nature lovers, hiking in New Zealand is the ideal adventure. Whether you want to test your mettle with a bungy jump, embark on an epic multi-day trek, or simply want to experience nature at its finest, this country has something special for everyone!

Aside from stunning scenery, New Zealand also offers an abundance of animal species to observe. From kiwis and seals to penguins and penguins – here are some of the best spots in New Zealand where you can witness these wonderful creatures up close!

Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

The Banks Peninsula is a haven for nature-lovers, making it an ideal place to spend your New Zealand holiday with family or friends. Just 1.5 hours from Christchurch, cruise ship passengers often anchor at Lyttleton Harbor on the south side of the peninsula.

Akaroa boasts an array of walking tours for all abilities and interests. One popular hike that climbs from Woodills Road in the village to Purple Peak Road provides stunning views over the bays and farmland surrounding it.

Another excellent walk is the Rhino Walkway, a one-hour return climb that ascends a headland to admire an impressive sculpture of a rhino. If you’re searching for something easy to do with young children, this would be an ideal option.

Photographers will want to visit Akaroa for its breathtaking landscape views. Even if you’re not an amateur photographer, try kayaking with a nature guide in Akaroa to witness sunrise over the water as it illuminates the surface.

Akaroa is home to the Hector dolphin, New Zealand’s only native dolphin. If you’re a strong swimmer, why not swim with these majestic creatures during a dolphin-spotting tour?

Other wildlife-themed tours include a tour to the Onawe Peninsula, which wraps around Akaroa Harbour and features an ancient volcano plug and sacred Maori site. Plus, you can explore an historic lighthouse on this peninsula which is manned year round by volunteers.

These are just a few of the activities available for families in Akaroa and Banks Peninsula. There are also plenty of other options such as wildlife-watching cruises that take you out into the sea to spot marine life, including Hector dolphins.

In addition to being an idyllic spot for vacationing, Akaroa is also the ideal jumping off point to explore the rest of New Zealand’s stunning Banks Peninsula. This captivating area invites those who wish to appreciate New Zealand’s natural splendor while taking in its cultural and historical riches.


Exploring the area’s wildlife can be done in many ways, but one of the best is taking a hiking tour. These trips can be booked as either day or multi-day events and offer an unparalleled opportunity to get closer to this stunning natural landscape.

Hiking in New Zealand is an amazing way to experience the country’s stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. These tours are suitable for families, solo travellers and couples alike – even those who prefer a less active travel style!

Hiking in New Zealand offers plenty of chances to spot kiwis, penguins and other wildlife. Plus, some of its most stunning beaches await you at the end of your trek!

Oamaru is New Zealand’s best-preserved historic town, and you can explore its fascinating past on a walking tour. Your guide will lead you through the streets, explain the buildings’ origins, and demonstrate how the town came to be.

The Waitaki region boasts many scenic attractions, such as iridescent blue lakes and limestone cliffs. You can even cycle along the Alps to Ocean trail! Hunting is another popular pastime here and provides an opportunity to view New Zealand’s native wildlife up close.

When you need a break from the outdoors, there are plenty of boutique wineries nearby to visit. Additionally, there are some museums which will give you more insight into the region’s history.

You can also visit Zealandia, a wildlife sanctuary that allows visitors to observe New Zealand animals without being disturbed. Here, you may spot rare species like kaka, tuatara and saddleback.

If you’re a fan of steampunk art, make sure to visit Oamaru’s Steampunk HQ. This unofficial world capital of progressive art offers some truly remarkable pieces.

Oamaru is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months, so it’s wise to book ahead. You’ll have an array of accommodation options from Poshtel’s quirky rooms to more traditional hotels such as Highlands on Homestead.

Monro Beach

Kiwis and penguins are two of New Zealand’s most captivating wildlife species, making a close encounter with these flightless nocturnal birds one of the country’s greatest natural treasures an unforgettable experience. Although rare, these flightless nocturnal birds can only be found here which makes them truly one of a kind.

Luckily, they’re easy to spot in the wild and often encountered along New Zealand’s coastline. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast and would like to observe some of these adorable creatures in their natural environment, a hiking tour is an ideal choice.

When planning a hiking trip, be sure to select one that emphasizes conservation. Not only will these provide you with unique encounters with some of America’s most fascinating creatures, but they also help support local sanctuaries and raise awareness about important environmental concerns.

Experience an unforgettable wildlife-focused tour with companies like Elm Wildlife or Nature’s Wonder and make a positive contribution to the environment at the same time. These companies use your admission fees for conservation efforts and increased awareness about critical wildlife issues in New Zealand.

For those searching to spot New Zealand’s iconic kiwi in their natural environment, Kapiti Island near Wellington is a must-visit. It’s the country’s most important kiwi reserve and an essential stop for anyone interested in this ‘honorary mammal’.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari in Cambridge is another great kiwi-spotting destination, where visitors can join a nighttime tour to search for nocturnal kiwis at their nesting sites. While sightings aren’t guaranteed, guides usually help you locate these well-camouflaged birds by listening out for their piercing calls in the darkness.

In addition to spotting kiwis, you might spot other endemic birds and animals during your tour. At Pukaha National Wildlife Centre in New Zealand, you can see New Zealand’s only white kiwi in captivity!

Finally, Monro Beach on the Otago Peninsula offers you an up-close and personal opportunity to observe some of the world’s rarest penguins. While it may not be as accessible as Katiki Point, if you are willing to wait a few hours for a chance at viewing these endangered birds then this will be an experience you won’t forget for years!


Kaikoura, New Zealand’s coastal town, is renowned for its whale watching opportunities but also offers plenty of other exciting wildlife experiences. From seabirds to fur seals, you can spot an array of fascinating species both in the waters and on land around Kaikoura.

Kaikoura offers an abundance of bird and marine life enthusiasts the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most impressive creatures on a range of hiking tours. Here, the rugged mountains meet the sea, creating an environment hospitable to an array of amazing species.

Kaikoura’s stunning coastline can be best experienced through kayaking. This tour takes you out into protected bays where you may spot dolphins and seals (in season), all while being guided by an experienced guide who knows all the tricks of the trade.

Another option is taking a whale-watching cruise, where you can spot sperm whales and humpbacks as they make their way from Antarctica to feed in Kaikoura region. Plus, your guide will provide informative commentary throughout your experience.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, why not take a helicopter flight and search for sperm whales from above. Aerial views offer breathtaking views of the area and you may even spot some other wildlife species present here as well!

Explore Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway on foot: this 11.7-kilometre loop passes scenic scenery and gives you the chance to spot local flora. Although it may be steep for those without much walking experience, this trip is still worthwhile if you enjoy being outdoors!

Kaikoura offers several hiking trails where you can see fur seals in their natural environment. These include the 2-hour Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway which starts at South Bay car park and ends in Kean Bay; as well as Ohau Point viewing platform (20km (12.4 miles) from Kaikoura town). This is home to New Zealand’s largest fur seal colony where you’re sure to spot plenty of these curious creatures lazing on rocks.