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Joni Stone   Meet Joni, one of our travel experts for New Zealand.

Born in the Southwest, raised in the Northwest, I have called the South Pacific home for over 30 years. I founded J2 Travels in the late 1990s to share our knowledge with other like minded travelers – remembering always, that the joy is in the journey. I currently live on Maui, I'm endorsed by IATA, and am a member of the Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand Tourism Boards.

Southern Encounter Aquarium Christchurch

Explore > New Zealand > Christchurch/Canterbury > Southern Encounter Aquarium Christchurch


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Animals - Southern Encounter Aquarium Christchurch.

New Zealand is geographically isolated from any major continental land mass, and has been since it broke from the Gondwanaland 'Super Continent' approximately 70 million years ago.
This has resulted in a native fauna which has evolved independently from that found on other land masses and consequently all but five of New Zealand's native freshwater fish are endemic (only found in New Zealand).

From a terrestrial perspective this isolation has also resulted in a proliferation of flightless birds, which have evolved to fill the ecological niche which mammals took up on other land masses.

Southern Encounter embraces these very special animals and aims to educate the public about their fascinating life histories, their beauty, and sadly, due to many negative impacts brought about by man, the precariousness of their existence.

Southern Encounter Aquarium Video

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Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwihouse was opened in September 1997 as Southern Encounter, Aquarium of Discovery. In October 2000 the attraction was purchased by Orana Wildlife Trust and consequently now operates as a charitable trust, showcasing the marine and freshwater aquatic species found within and around the South Island of New Zealand.

With the exciting introduction of the North Island Brown Kiwi in April 2002, the aquarium became Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwihouse and continues to focus on the important role that conservation advocacy and public education play in protecting New Zealand's unique terrestrial and aquatic fauna.