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Top 5 Ecotourism Activities to Experience in New Zealand

Ecotourism is all about travelling sustainably. It aims to engage in nature-based activities while discovering natural and cultural values of the country. As such, there are a few distinguished activities that fall under ecotourism category. This post will focus on ecotourism that is common to New Zealand.


Birdwatching involves observing various species of birds in their natural habitats. It is a popular activity among birders and bird enthusiasts.


Birdwatching in New Zealand is a popular and rewarding activity. It is often done at the bird-watching oriented tours and excursions. The country's unique avifauna includes many bird species. In a nearby park, you might hear a species like a tui singing as you pass. In conservations and in the wild there lives a flightless bird Kiwi.

The country has great landscapes: alpine forests, grasslands, coastal wetlands, subtropical rainforests. This provides opportunities to observe a wide variety of birdlife.

The kiwi, kea, tui, kakapo, and famous albatross are some of the most sought-after bird species to see in New Zealand. Among the honeyeater's family, here are the iridescent Tui and NZ bellbird. Among endemic parrots, the ground dwelling kākāpō and the alpine dwelling kea are two popular species. The New Zealand kākā is a native forest parrot species. while the eastern rosella and the sulphur-crested cockatoo aare two Australian introduced parrot species. These species live in cities like Auckland.

Apart from Tui, the two Australian parrot species and the bellbird, there are other species found in cities and gardens. These are Pupuke, common diving petrel, Kererū or NZ wood pigeon, grey warbler, fantail, silver eye and some other species.

There are many bird sanctuaries and reserves in New Zealand. These include the Tiritiri Matangi Island and the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. They offer fantastic possibilities for birdwatching.

Overall, for those who enjoy the outdoors and birds, birdwatching in New Zealand is a must-do activity. It provides a special chance to observe and appreciate the nation's abundant and varied avifauna.

Whale Watching

Giant Sperm Whale

There are two locations in New Zealand that are popular for whale watching: Kaikoura on the South Island and the Bay of Islands on the North Island. Kaikoura, a coastal town also known as 'whale capital', provides large whale watching opportunities.

The submarine landscape in Kaikoura is full of underwater canyons. It's also a place where the warm current from the north meets colder current from the south. This causes nutrients to float up from the deep to the surface, feeding plankton, krill, dolphins and whales.

What makes it special about whale watching in Kaikoura is the presence of the giant Sperm Whale, the world's largest carnivore. Its name derives from a semi-liquid, waxy substance found within the whale's head. The substance was a prime target of the whaling industry, and was used in oil lamps, lubricants and candles.

Bay of Islands, an area on the east coast of the Far North District of the North Island, is another place frequently visited by Orcas and Bryde's whales. Long-finned pilot whales, humpback whales and blue whales can also be seen.

Whale watching is an important eco-tour in New Zealand. Advocating whale-watching over whale-hunting entails larger economic benefits. Protecting marine mammals by law in New Zealand improved their recovery state.

Trekking and Hiking

It's a great way to experience nature by walking through forests, hills, and mountains, and learning about local flora and fauna.

As the nation offers a broad range of landscapes, hiking in New Zealand is a popular and satisfying pastime.

Many of New Zealand's hiking routes are overseen by the Department of Conservation (DOC), which keeps them in good condition. The DOC has also created a number of Great Walks. These are multi-day excursions through some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the nation. The Milford Track, Kepler Track, and Routeburn Track are a few of the most well-known Great Walks.

In addition to the Great Walks, New Zealand boasts a large selection of additional hiking trails. These range from quick, straightforward hikes to strenuous, multi-day treks. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Abel Tasman and Mount Aspiring National Parks are great examples.

Visiting Natural Sites

Champagne Pool in Rotorua

The culture and tradition of New Zealand place a high value on natural and cultural places of interest. In New Zealand, there are lots of interesting sites to visit. Botanic gardens, museums, geothermal pools, skyscrapers, all are present in New Zealand.

The Auckland SkyTower is the ideal location to take in expansive views of the largest metropolis in the nation. From here you can see the Rangitoto Volcano, North Shore region, West Mountains, South Regions and East Coromandel. Several urban mountains can also be seen such as Three Kings Mountain, Mount Albert, Mount Eden and One Tree Hill.

Oakley Creek Waterfall

The most visited waterfalls include the North Island's Karakariki Waterfall, Wairinga Veil Falls and Pokeno Waterfall. Oakley Creek Waterfall is another noteworthy waterfall that is the largest urban waterfall in New Zealand. There are several waterfalls in the South Island as well. These include Diana Falls, Bowen Falls, Small Drinda Waterfall, and Falls Creek.

Among geothermal pools and spas here are Grandeur Thermal Spa Resort, Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua, and Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort. The North Island also has Parakai Springs Lodge, The Lost Spring, and Waiwera Thermal Resort & Spa.

Overall, there are many natural sites to visit in New Zealand.


New Zealand is a great place for stargazing due to its southern location and low light pollution. The country has a range of dark sky reserves and observatories that offer breathtaking views of the night sky.

The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is one of the best stargazing locations in the world. It is situated in the central South Island of New Zealand. The reserve covers over 4,300 square kilometers and has almost no light pollution, making it an ideal location for viewing the stars.

In addition to the Aoraki Mackenzie Reserve, there are other places in New Zealand that are great for stargazing. These are the Great Barrier Island, Stewart Island, and the Southern Lakes region. Many of these locations have dedicated observatories or astronomy tours. They allow visitors to experience the night sky in a unique and immersive way.

New Zealand's stunning landscapes make for a dramatic backdrop for stargazing. It is definitely a destination worth considering for your next stargazing adventure.

Other Ecotourism Activities

  • Kayaking and Canoeing. Tourists can enjoy the tranquil surroundings while exploring waterways and seeing aquatic life.

  • Cycling. New Zealand's scenic backroads and trails offer a great way to explore the country's countryside. Popular routes include the Otago Central Rail Trail and the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail.

  • Sailing and boating. New Zealand's coastal waters are a playground for sailors and boaters. Popular destinations include the Bay of Islands, the Marlborough Sounds, and the Hauraki Gulf.

  • Horse riding. Horse riding is a popular way to explore New Zealand's countryside. Options range from leisurely treks to multi-day adventures. Popular destinations for horse riding include the Dart River Valley and the Waimakariri River.

  • Snorkelling and Scuba Diving. Tourists can explore marine life, coral reefs, and underwater caverns.

  • Camping. A fantastic way to see New Zealand's breathtaking natural beauty is to go camping there.

  • Cultural Tours. This entails travelling to nearby communities, taking an interest in their customs, traditions, and way of life.

  • Sustainable Farming Tours. Visits to farms that engage in sustainable agriculture are part of this as well as education about farming methods and exposure to regional cuisine and culture.

  • Eco-friendly Accommodations. Visiting eco-friendly places to stay, such as eco-lodges, treehouses, and camping grounds. The places are built using sustainable materials and techniques. They encourage responsible tourism.

  • Volunteer Programs. Volunteering is a great way to take part in conservation efforts. It is a good way to learn many skills, including sustainable and organic food growing, cattle raising, pest control and gardening. The programs vary and often include re-growing greenery, planting trees, eradicating pests and assisting in wildlife restoration.

Final Thoughts

Nature has been and continues to be home and shelter to many beautiful things, from birdwatching to flower and plant hunting. Particularly in the case of New Zealand. Fish and other sea life, as well as other creatures and vegetation, are among New Zealand's abundant natural resources. New Zealand is one of the most popular tourist destinations because of the abundance of reserves, parks and recreational areas. There will undoubtedly be times when you'll want to get some fresh air and take in the sights of the cliffs, mountains, and sea.

You might occasionallybe moved by the natural beauty of flowers, plants, fruit, animals, and other natural things. You might be in the middle of a meadow, taking in the grass, herbs, and all kinds of flora. Or perhaps you should go hunting and take a prey. You are in charge of deciding what you will do outside. Whether you are a botanist or a casual traveler, you will undoubtedly discover an ecotourism activity that you adore.

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Hello, I am a Blog Writer

In my blog I love to write about New Zealand Nature. My focus is to provide value to website visitors by offering New Zealand Nature-related information and articles. By reading my blog you will learn a lot about New Zealand nature, how to preserve it and how to get the most out of your travel and nature-related endeavors!

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Nikolai Kolbenev

Blog Writer

Passionate about all things nature, I am giving you facts and showing you tips on nature preservation in New Zealand.


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