In another first of its kind, Rockjumper offers a tour like no other – an opportunity to see a representative of every family to be found in Australasia! Over the course of nearly three weeks, we will visit New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand on our quest to find a representative of each family to be found over this diverse region.
We begin our tour with a pre-tour extension to New Caledonia, a rather large and ancient chip off the once enormous Gondwanaland block. Host to the highly sought after, and only surviving member of its family – the Kagu. In addition to Kagu, we will also seek out specialities such as Goliath Imperial Pigeon (the world’s largest arboreal pigeon), the lovely Cloven-feathered Dove, the rare Horned Parakeet and New Caledonian Cuckooshrike amongst many others.
We next head to the vast continent of Australia, which harbours 6 endemic families, as well as numerous endemic and bizarre wildlife found nowhere else on our planet. Traversing the eastern part of the country, we will cover an incredible variety of habitats ranging from lush expanses of dense tropical rainforest to the dry endless stretches of the desolate outback. Major targets we hope to find include Plains-wanderer, Southern Cassowary, Albert’s Lyrebird, Regent Bowerbird, Striated Pardalote, Australian Logrunner, Varied Sitella, Chowchilla, Atherton Scrubwren, Apostlebird, Spotted Quail-thrush and Rufous Bristlebird but the extended list of mouth-watering endemics is truly phenomenal!
We finish the main tour in New Zealand, which despite its small size is host to an incredible 6 endemic families! Beginning in Auckland, we search for North Island Brown Kiwi before spending a day on Tiritiri Matangi Island to find the prehistoric South Island Takahe, North Island Saddleback, the strange North Island Kokako and unique Stitchbird. Our final destination of the tour will be Stewart Island, home to Southern Brown Kiwi, Yellowhead, New Zealand Kaka and Rifleman.
Endemic Families: Apterygidae (Kiwis), Anseranatidae (Magpie Goose), Rhynochetidae (Kagu), Pedionomidae (Plains-wanderer), Strigopidae (New Zealand Parrots), Acanthisittidae (New Zealand Wrens), Menuridae (Lyrebirds), Atrichornithidae (Scrubbirds), Dasyornithidae (Bristlebirds), Pardalotidae (Pardalotes), Callaeidae (New Zealand Wattlebirds), Notiomystidae (Stitchbird), Mohouidae (Whiteheads), Corcoracidae (Australian Mudnesters)
Kagu, Goliath Imperial Pigeon, New Caledonian Goshawk, Crow Honeyeater, Cloven-feathered Dove, Horned Parakeet, New Caledonian Cuckooshrike, Australian King Parrot, Plains-wanderer, Southern Cassowary, Albert’s & Superb Lyrebirds, Regent, Golden & Satin Bowerbirds, Paradise & Victoria’s Riflebirds, Striated Pardalote, Pale-headed Rosella, Chowchilla, Noisy Pitta, Australian Logrunner, Marbled Frogmouth, Magpie-lark, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Brolga & Sarus Cranes, Varied Sitella, Chowchilla, Australian Brushturkey, Diamond Firetail, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Atherton Scrubwren, Apostlebird, Spotted Quail-thrush, Rufous Bristlebird, North Island & Southern Brown Kiwis, Wrybill, South Island Takahe, Fernbird, North Island Saddelback, Fiordland Penguin, North Island Kokako, Stitchbird, Yellowhead, New Zealand Kaka, Foveaux Shag, Rifleman.
Musky Rat Kangaroo, Red-legged Pademelons, Sugar Glider, Striped Possums, Long-nosed Bandicoots, Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo, Duck-billed Platypus, Lemuroid Ringtail & Herbert River Ringtails, New Zealand Fur Seal, Tongan Flying Fox.
woodland, tropical and temperate forest, swamps, riverine woodland, grasslands, coastal bush, estuaries and ocean
New Caledonia: mostly tropical conditions; warm and humid with some rain expected,
Australia: hot and humid in the north, cooler in the interior mountains of the central areas
New Zealand: largely temperate with mild temperatures and moderate rainfall
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader and local leaders at some sites
Tour Pace & Walking
Ease of Birding
mostly easy birding with a few tricky species
good, but limited due to pace of tour