1. Many butterfly enthusiasts are surprised to discover that monarchs exist across several continents, including the 93% submerged former continent of Zealandia.
New Zealand is not a continent, but a small remaining piece of history.
2. The monarchs’ main food source in New Zealand comes from the Gomphocarpus genus. This includes swan milkweed and balloon plant, which are also growing in popularity with gardeners (and monarchs) across the U.S.
3. No matter how far you travel, you can never escape the dreaded Oleander aphids. The infamous orange milkweed pests torture gardeners worldwide:
4. Where do New Zealand monarch butterflies go for the winter?
New Zealand monarchs migrate to local overwintering grounds in more temperate NZ locations including Christchurch and Tauranga Bay. The temperature in these regions doesn’t typically go below 10° C or 50° F.
In the southern hemisphere, summer arrives in late December, and monarch season is in full swing.
5. The Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust was initially formed to protect the Tauranga Bay overwintering site, but has now expanded to support the monarch butterfly population across New Zealand.
Here is more about the trust and what you can do to help support New Zealand monarchs: