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From seals to weta, the Hutt Valley has a treasury of hidden creatures for you to find. Take photos and make memories, leave only footprints.
At the end of Wainuiomata’s rugged and wild Coast Road you’ll find the region's largest New Zealand fur seal colony. Over winter up to 500 fur seals can be found here.
The icon of the New Zealand people, the Kiwi, is now running wild in the Hutt Valley. A population of North Island Brown kiwi has been released into the Remutaka Forest Park, along with some intensive pest control. If you stay overnight in the Orongorongo Valley you may not be able to see them, but you will probably be able to hear them.
Head over to Matiu / Somes Island for a chance to see into the past. Tuatara belong to an ancient order of reptiles and were re-introduced to the island in 1998. A small tuatara, probably only a few months old, was photographed by visitors to the island in 2010, showing that the population is now breeding.
Jump on the East by West Ferry and head over to Matiu / Somes Island for spectacular views with history. This predator free scientific reserve is home to little blue penguins among other species of flora and fauna native to New Zealand.
Weta are an ancient and spectacular insect and there are many opportunities to spot them in the Hutt Valley. The Wellington Tree Weta is found in most backyards and bush areas. You will most likely hear it's distinct rasping noise during the night, and you'll be able to find the large stripy insect amongst dead branches or wood piles and in rose bushes. Even more spectacular is the Cook Strait giant weta which can grow up to 7 centimetres long. These guys can be found on Matiu / Somes Island.
Glow worms are quite the natural wonder, their shining lures reminiscent of the stars in the sky. To find some explore the tracks near Kaitawa Road, York Bay at night (always take a torch and warm clothes). You should be able to find them on almost any overhanging bank on the side of the track. Percy Scenic Reserve also has a weta cave to explore.
Pack a picnic and head to Pakuratahi Forest for a day of bird spotting. Keep your eyes peeled and whits sharp for New Zealand's smallest bird, the Rifleman, who's high pitched call is hard to hear. You'll also see kereru, karearea, fantails, whiteheads and tui and if you are near a stream, you might spot native eels and koura (freshwater crayfish).