Eco tour in New Zealand
Kayaking trips are popular at the Abel Tasman, or the stunning fjords of Milford Sound. Wanaka, which lies between the Southern Alps on one side and a glacial lake on the other, is a great place for rafting and windsurfing.
Bird watching is another favored eco tourism activity at the Kahurangi National Park. Birds like kaka, paradise ducks, grey warbler, bellbird and kakariki can be spotted here. Many of the extensive bird species of New Zealand are facing extinction due to increase in the number of predators, but many of the endemic species survive in these parks. At Taiaroa Head, on the Otago Peninsula, you can visit the colony of albatrosses and penguins. Penguins are also found at Nugget Point. The Stewart Island is a great place for spotting kiwis—the national bird of New Zealand. You can swim with the dolphins at Bay of Islands or observe dolphins and seals in Westland.
For a touch of history, you can take a trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds or the city of Christchurch that still has a “British” feel to it.
If you are looking for a “volunteering holiday” in New Zealand, Kaikoura can be a good choice. Kaikoura is a certified Green Globe 21 Community and has a “zero waste policy.” The project site is “Tom’s track,” which is a portion of the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Your work will consist of repairing and redeveloping this track. Additionally there is a “Trees for Travelers” program in which tourists are encouraged to plant trees on the track.
Even if you are not taking part in any volunteer work you can come to Kaikoura for a watching whales and the large variety of marine life forms found here. There are colonies of seals, blue penguins and red-billed seagulls. You can also take walks to Mt. Fyffe or climb up Mt. Manakau.
If you really want to help out during your visit to New Zealand, you can also take up a teaching job at Auckland and teach underprivileged children. These teaching jobs can last till a month and you can combine travel and volunteer work when you join one of these “community” these projects.
When you visit Auckland, you can take a drive to Rotura and visit Te Puia–a Maori culture center. If the Maori culture fascinates you, visit Lake Rotoiti or Rotorua and learn more about their culture and enjoy their hospitality. The Te Papa Museum at Wellington will also enlighten you on the rich heritage of New Zealand. You can go on bush walking trips at the Waitakere ranges in Auckland.
In the North Island, include Coromandel, Tongariro National Park and Napier–the art deco city in your itinerary.
You can stay at self-contained cottages in the forests at Wanganui and the suburbs of Christchurch, eco-retreats at Marlborough Sounds and Coromandel Peninsula, lodges at Kaiteriteri and Lake Moeraki and luxury resorts at Kerikeri and Gisborne.
Eco tours in New Zealand are run by many small operators, and those listed on “Ecotours New Zealand” are committed to educate tourists on how to appreciate and respect the natural treasures of New Zealand.