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New Zealand Travel Tips & Questions

Are there any dangerous creatures?

Unlike it's neighbour Australia, New Zealand has almost no creatures with venomous stings and bites or which otherwise want to eat you. There are no snakes or scorpions and only one native venomous spider, the Katipo, which is so rare that most New Zealanders couldn't even tell you what it looks like.

Two others have been introduced from Australia and they are the Redback spider and the White-tailed spider. The Redback spider have only small, localised populations and are typically found in out-buildings. There is great debate regarding the White-tailed spider and whether or not it is venomous and causes necrotic lesions. (However, the author can personally vouch for the fact that, in some people at least, flesh necrosis can most definitely result from the bite if medical attention isn't sought.)

In the oceans there are sting-rays which will avoid humans wherever possible and the greatest danger is from stepping on them in the shallows. New Zealand's waters are also full of sharks including Great Whites (known as White Pointers in New Zealand), Mako and Bronze Whalers but they are so well fed that there hasn't been a fatal attack on the South Island since 1968 and none in the North Island for over 100 years.

The most annoying thing you will encounter in New Zealand will be the voracious sand-fly.