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A number of bird watching tours are available, or you can simply visit one of the country's many National Parks, where bird life is abundant. You can also see most types of New Zealand native birds in bird parks, reserves, and zoos throughout the country.
Many species of dolphins are found in New Zealand waters. Visitors to the country will find they can get up close to these fascinating and highly social creatures, and may also get to swim with them! Some dolphins you may encounter in New Zealand include the common, bottle-nosed, Dusky, and the rare Hector's dolphin, which is found only in New Zealand.
A wide selection of dolphin watching and swimming tours can be found in New Zealand. Most tours take great care not to harm the dolphins, and some of the tour price often goes towards dolphin conservation.
You'll find three species of penguin around New Zealand. The Korora, or little blue penguin, is the world's smallest, and can be found in coastal shores such as Akaroa Harbour, Marlborough Sounds, and Stewart Island.
The Hoiho, or yellow-eyed penguin, is an endangered bird, and has a characteristic yellow eye. These can be found at Catlins, on the Otago Coast, and on the Otago Peninsula, just out of Dunedin.
The Fiordland crested penguin, is a yellow-crested penguin, and one of the world's rarest. It is found in South Westland, Fiordland, and Stewart Island, in the deep south of New Zealand.
New Zealand waters contain a variety of whales, and you can watch whales
at various places around the country. However, Kaikoura, on the East Coast of the South Island is the main centre for
whale watching in New Zealand, and is one of the most accessible places
in the world to spot the amazing sperm whale. Killer whales (orcas) may
also be seen from December to March, and humpback whales in June and July.
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