“Black sand; a sky so moody you want to give it medication; and everywhere vines, climbing up from the forest floor and draping down from the dense jungle canopy. The potboiler feminism of Jane Campion’s breakthrough film was overcooked, but the Kiwi scenery around Auckland’s Karekare Beach was a revelation.” – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast
Personally I would have thought the real movie drawcard would have been The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It went a long way to highlight the wealth of natural beauty. New Zealand is an outdoor enthusiast’s delight and a country once so safe that the birds forgot how to fly. It is these flightless birds, including penguins, can do with your help on your visit here.
For the the traveller, top of the list are sights such as White Island, an active marine volcano, 30 miles off the east coast of the North Island, and the fjords in the world heritage area of Milford Sound. The sight of 6,000ft high peaks jutting out of the waters of the Tasman Sea is phenomenal and if you are lucky you may even spot dolphins and seals playing around your boat. Go for a swim in the tranquil Bay of Islands in the north, then hike in the stunning Glacier Country in the south.
Unfortunately, despite the lush wilderness and small population, human activity has still had a significant impact on the natural habitat of native penguin populations. Two Blue Penguin Colony’s of around 700 penguins, could do with your help with maintaining their habitat. Though you aren’t working with the penguins directly you can enter the colonies, and work on vegetation and habitat restoration programs. The work is often quite intense, but knowing that these cute little critters will have a higher chance of survival makes it all worthwhile.