If you’re wondering where to go with your Christchurch car hire, head over to Arthur’s Pass a couple of hours away for some of the coolest wildlife you’ll find in New Zealand.
The Kea is known as the New Zealand mountain parrot, and you’ll only find them in harsh alpine environments around the South Island.
It’s estimated that there are somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 of these birds left in the wild.
But why would you drive to see a bird?
They don’t speak, they’re not as cute as fuzzy little ducklings, or impressive in size as an albatross, nor are they as friendly as the fantail – but they are the cheekiest thing with wings you’ll ever see.
They are famous around the country for wreaking havoc for anyone who leaves their car, shoes, camera, bike, back-pack, lunch or basically anything unattended.
With one eye on your rental car, settle in for a show you won’t soon forget and watch these winged devils steal bits off anything they can get their beaks on.
On ski fields all over the country the birds rejoice when hundreds of cars turn up on their doorstep with fresh offerings of the rubber parts found around windows, or loose pieces of roof racks and the like.
They’re not shy either, so if you’re having a picnic nearby, keep an eye on your food if you want to keep it.
They are in fact rated as one of the most intelligent birds in the world, and are a protected species.
Even if you don’t catch them on a day when they are actively destroying property (you can just look up a video of their antics online), they’re still worth the trip.
While not ‘fuzzy-duckling-cute’, their red and green plumage truly makes them the ‘New Zealand parrot’.