Wildlife in New Zealand
New Zealand has abundant and diverse marine life, and whale watching and swimming with dolphins are two of our most highly recommended experiences. The small Hector's dolphin is the world's rarest dolphin and only found in New Zealand waters. Seals, penguins and a whole host of fish and shellfish also thrive in New Zealand's fertile marine environment.
National Parks and Marine Reserves
Over 20 percent of New Zealand is covered in national parks, forest areas and reserves - and these are the best places to observe our native flora and fauna. Our mainland also has two World Heritage Areas - Tongariro in the Central North Island and Te Wahipounamu in the south-west of the South Island.
Our 14 national parks contain an incredible variety of unspoiled landscape and vegetation. Administered and maintained by the Department of Conservation, these parks provide opportunity for a wide variety of activities including hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, kayaking and trout fishing.