Isolated at the bottom of the planet, the islands of New Zealand showcase diverse animal species, many unique to the country. A hardy survivor of the mega-continent of Gondwanaland, the tuatara is an ancient reptile closely related to the dinosaurs. New Zealand’s native birds include the country’s national symbol, the kiwi, and the kea, a curiously intelligent alpine parrot. Pelagic birds include the compact hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin), one of the planet’s rarest penguins, and the grand royal albatross. Also sharing New Zealand’s cooler southern waters are marine mammals, and opportunities abound to interact with whales, dolphins and fur seals.