A tramper on Stewart Island has captured the "once in a lifetime" moment an adventurous kiwi trotted up to their group in the middle of the day.
The kiwi was filmed running up to the group while they were walking the Raikura track on the isolated island, pausing for a brief moment to examine the humans before heading into the bush.
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"It was the last day of our tramp... We were just walking along the path when this thing jumped out in front of me and gave me quite a fright - I actually screamed because I wasn't expecting it!" tramper Sandra Burgess told Newshub.
"We just stood there for a while and it chased another one into the undergrowth, they had a bit of a scrap and it ran off, the two of them together, then it came back again."
When it came back, the adventurous bird got up close and personal with the group. Ms Burgess managed to snap a photo of the kiwi as it stood right next to her husband, Bryce, while investigating them.
"It took us by surprise, we weren't really expecting to see one just walking around like that - it was pretty incredible," she said.
"[I felt] very, very lucky and overawed... I don't think it happens to a lot of people. It's a once in a lifetime thing, I think."
Ms Burgess sent the video in to the Facebook page Stewart Island Kiwi, where it's been viewed more than 844,000 times. The page's founder, Emma Feenstra, is a kiwi expert with a bachelor and master in science, working towards a PhD on the Stewart Island kiwi.
She told Newshub that the Rakiura tokoeka subspecies is incredibly unique and little research has been done on it.
"One of [their unique traits] is that they are active during the day! Which makes the island a special place to see kiwi," she said.
Researchers aren't quite sure why they do that, but Ms Feenstra speculated it may be because at that latitude, nights are pretty short - meaning the kiwi just don't have enough time to feed if they live the usual nocturnal lifestyle.
"These hikers were lucky to spot this female on the track, she's probably taking a break from incubating her egg while her partner looks after it... or she may be gravid [with egg]."
Ms Feenstra praised the trampers for their calm behaviour around the kiwi, despite their obvious thrill - and she had some advice for anyone else who comes across the critters.
"Stay quiet and still and just watch," she said.
"If you don't disturb them they will often circle around and come back past you, or may even come and investigate your boots."