We don’t have long to wait before seeing something special on Whale Island (Moutohora). Within a couple of minutes of disembarking from our boat, the Moutohora Cat, our lead guide Jenny kneels down on the sand and points out kiwi footprints meandering through the tussock.

“You’ll never find a kiwi walking in a straight line,” she says.

Jenny informs us that kiwi thrive on Moutohora, 9km offshore from Whakatāne in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, though for unknown reasons their breeding success is irregular. A PhD student has proposed a study to research kiwi nest behaviour…

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