Join a nocturnal nature walk in one of North or South Island’s primeval forests and you might hear the short, piping trill of a kiwi – New Zealand’s haunting call of the wild. With luck, you might even glimpse a fuzzy ball, two legs and a long beak busily sifting the leaf litter. A curiosity of the bird world, the kiwi behaves more like a mammal, snuffling through the undergrowth or probing the strandline of beaches with its long bill. Night-time tours on Kapiti Island (near Wellington) or Stewart Island’s Ocean Beach often provide captivating encounters. Also look out for other indigenous birds, including kaka, bellbird, tui, saddleback, yellowhead and rifleman.