Best time to visit New Zealand

Birdwatching in New Zealand

The whole country is considered a birdwatching spot and its coastline​ is labeled as a seabird capital

Best time: September–November

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New Zealand is recognized as an international birdwatching hotspot. It is home to 80 unique endemic species, including five species of legendary kiwis, multicolored alpine and forest parrots, curious wrybill plover, rare black stilt and many other precious forest species. 15,000 kilometres of coastline are inhabited by 85 seabird species, and hence comes its fame of the seabird capital. The seaside is home to 14 albatross species and 9 penguin species. To view all or, at least, most of the terrestrial and pelagic birds one has to travel both across and along the coastline of the North Island, The South Island as well as Stewart Islands, and see different habitats from​ vibrant wetlands to severe mountain peaks. Although birdwatching is rewarding at any time of the year, the best time to observe birds in their natural environment would be their breeding season which usually occurs in spring, as then you will be able to see both adult birds and their cute youngs.

Muriwai Heads, Waipu Cove, Rangihoua Heritage Park, Tawharanui Regional Park, Tiritiri Matangi Island, and many more locations make amazing spots for bird admirers.

Practical info

When is the best time to go birdwatching in New Zealand?

Birdwatching is ideal during the birds' breeding season, occurring in spring from September to November. During this season, young birds take flight, and breeding patterns become evident, making it an excellent time for observation. However, New Zealand's landscape makes birdwatching a fantastic experience year-round. Show more

Where are the best birdwatching spots in New Zealand?

From wetlands to mountain peaks and coastlines, New Zealand offers countless urban and rural birdwatching locations. A few of the best locations for birdwatching enthusiasts include Muriwai Heads, Waipu Cove, Rangihoua Heritage Park, Tawharanui Regional Park, and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Birdwatching anywhere in New Zealand has the potential to be an unforgettable experience. Show more

How many endemic bird species are there in New Zealand?

New Zealand is home to 80 indigenous bird species, including the legendary kiwi and alpine and forest parrots. The curious wrybill plover and rare black stilt also call the country home, amongst many other fascinating forest species. New Zealand takes conservation seriously to safeguard these unique birds, attracting birdwatchers from around the world. Show more

What is the seabird capital of New Zealand?

Spanning 15,000 kilometres, New Zealand's coastline has rightfully earned its title as the seabird capital of the country, holding 85 different seabird species. Among these species are 14 types of albatross and nine different species of penguin. Observing these seabirds in the unique habitats they call home is an experience like no other. Show more

How many albatross and penguin species can be found in New Zealand's seaside?

New Zealand's seaside offers diverse habitat options and is the residency of 14 albatross species and nine different penguin species. Visitors can observe these majestic seabirds in various settings like rocky coastlines, secluded bays, and islands. This provides enthusiasts with an unparalleled opportunity to witness these incredible species in their natural habitat. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin