Wellington, the capital of New Zealand is a wonderful city to visit. The colonial architecture, the rich cultural heritage and the scenic beauty of the city make it a popular destination for international tourists. For nature lovers, Wellington and its surrounding areas have several forest reserves, which are the natural homes of the animals and birds of New Zealand.
This idyllic island lying between the southern islands of New Zealand and the Hauraki Gulf is a bird sanctuary. People come to this nature reserve mainly to watch rare avian species that are absent in the mainland. Some parts of the island are private properties of individuals, where accommodation is available for visitors.
Located close to downtown New Zealand is the wooded area inhabited by rare animal species of New Zealand. The native animals of the country, including the tuatara, hihi, saddleback, giant weta and the little spotted kiwi, live in an enclosure constructed to prevent non-native animals from entering the forested area.
Rimutaka Forest Park
Located between Wairarpa Plains and the Hutt Valley of Wellington is the 22,000 hectares of Forest Park. This region is popular among hikers, hunters and bikers. The Catchpool Valley and the Orongorongo Valley located in the Forest Park have a number of scenic walking trails. You can live in one of the several huts located here. There is also a well-maintained camping site, fitted with barbecues and toilet facilities. The Catchpool Valley located at the entrance of Rimutaka Forest Park is a 45 minutes drive from the city.
The island for generations was inhabited by the Maori. Located in the middle of the Wellington Harbour, this island is now a popular wildlife reserve of New Zealand. This island is home to some of the beautiful birds of the region. Another attraction of the island is the mokomoko, a species of lizard native to this country.
Tucked to the southeastern fringe of Wellington Harbour, the Pencarrow Lakes are the unmodified wetlands of the country. This is a popular picnic spot and a great place to explore on a bike.
Turkirae Head Scientific Reserve
Located 10 km south of the main entrance of the Rimutaka Forest Park, Turakirae Reserve is noted for its seal colonies.