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. Top Mammals
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. Habitats Covered
woodland, tropical and temperate forest, swamps, riverine woodland, grasslands, coastal bush, estuaries and ocean Expected Climate
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
fast paced Accommodation
comfortable Ease of Birding
mostly easy birding with a few tricky species Photographic Opportunities
good, but limited due to pace of tour
Erik Forsyth went above and beyond to give personal attention to each participant. How does he do it? Lack of sleep and a packed itinerary would challenge the best guide, but he seems to always be positive and light-hearted. Cracking dry jokes and comments – loved it!
It was a fantastic trip. Very satisfying and Angus did a great job : he really showed us the birds and took great care that we had everything we wanted and were able to enjoy our tour.
We traveled through strangely beautiful and interesting areas and were able to get great birds – almost all the endemics of the area. Angus was good at finding the birds which often involved traveling to very remote and isolated places for 1 or 2 species. I love Australian birds – beautiful, unique, often loud and delightful. The Lake Argyle cruise was fabulous and the Yellow River cruise was a great break from riding in the van and seeing water birds from a distance.
Erik Forsyth is a wonderful guy, so enjoyable to travel with. He is knowledgeable, down to earth and quite humorous! We did New Zealand with Erik a few years ago and would definitely go with him on other Rockjumper Trips in the future. Also, we would recommend Erik to others considering him as their leader.
Steve Davidson is a superb guide. He has a vast knowledge of Australian birds, other wildlife, and plants. He has a keen ear and I appreciated that he described what he was hearing. We had challenges in terms of Covid and flooding, and he very responsibly addressed both issues. I truly don't know how he had the stamina to guide, drive the extra miles on detours, and organize the needed diversions from the itinerary.