Petrel Colony Tours

Located within lush sub-tropical rainforest near Punakaiki on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, this award winning facility features the largest mainland burrow-nesting petrel, the Westland Petrel (Procellaria westlandica) on its only breeding grounds.

The Westland Petrel belongs to a family of pelagic seabirds, the procellariidae, or otherwise known as tube-nosed seabirds.

With over 100 species around the world, almost half of which can be found breeding in the New Zealand region, the petrel family ranges in size from the largest species, the Royal Albatross, with its wingspan of over three metres, to tiny storm petrels the size of a sparrow. Typically, petrels rarely come ashore outside the breeding season and immature birds may spend many years at sea without touching land before returning to breed.

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