A range of grey to olive-green shades, with irregular pale splotches in two rows down the back. The toes are long and have large pads. These are the largest geckos, and have a SVL of up to 160mm.
The species is now confined to islands off the north-east coast of the North Island, and the Cook Strait. Fossil evidence suggests that they were once much more widespread.
Nocturnal, but sunbathe. They eat relatively large prey, such as Puriri moths, and wetas. The oldest known wild Duvaucel was 36 years, or older.
These geckos may forage on the ground, but also climb trees (arboreal), living in scrub, in forest, and along the shore line of the islands to which they are confined.
The species was erroneously named after Alfred Duvaucel, a French naturalist who explored India. The museum specimens taken to Europe were credited to him, and only later were the animals found to have come from New Zealand.