New Zealand: Home to some of the world's rarest and most unusual birds
For bird lovers, a trip to New Zealand promises to be a thrilling adventure into the world of some of the rarest and most unusual birds known to man, which are being protected in specially-designated areas.
Mel White, from Audubonmagazine.com, said that on a recent New Zealand adventure he was treated to some spectacular birds, including oystercatchers, godwits and turnstones.
One place definitely worth visiting is Tiri, where Mr White saw the "near-mythic" takahe, which boasts blue and green plumage and a big red beak.
The Karori wildlife sanctuary also provided the writer with many wonderful sightings, including the New Zealand bell bird, saddlebacks and the kaka, while Boundary Stream allowed him to finally encounter the kokako which he had been longing to see.
"With the growth in sanctuaries such as Karori and Boundary Stream, virtual islands where native species can live unmolested by the predators they never learned to avoid, there's a last chance that their songs will always ring out through New Zealand's forests, an echo from a time before man," Mr White said.
Another destination those on a New Zealand adventure should pencil in to their itinerary is the Kaikoura coast, with stuff.co.nz journalist Kim Triegaardt recently enjoying a boat trip there and getting close to albatrosses.