Situated 700km to the south-east of mainland New Zealand, these islands have long been ignored and seldom visited by birders and travellers. In our short time here, we will search the mainland for several rare and highly sought-after species such as: Chatham (Island) Shag, Pitt (Island) Shag, Chatham Oystercatcher, Chatham (Island) Pigeon, Red-crowned Parakeet, Chatham (Island) Gerygone, and the Chatham sub-species of Tui and New Zealand Pipit.

Excitement comes in the form of a pelagic trip into the Pacific Ocean to the rugged Pyramid Island where we will marvel at the only breeding colony in the world of Chatham Albatross. While enjoying spectacular flight views of this gem and nesting activity, we will scan the surrounding ocean for many other species of petrel, shearwater, and albatross that feed in the area. If we are very lucky, we may see the rare Chatham Petrel or even the near-mythical Magenta Petrel (or Taiko as it is known locally), observed by only a few birders. We will also have the opportunity to moor alongside the South East Island to look for the highly endangered Shore (Plover) Dotterel feeding on the wave-platforms and Chatham (Island) Parakeet and Tomtit foraging in the stunted trees. Our visit to these smaller islands will give us opportunities to see some of the rarest birds in the world, to go where few birders have been and allow an insight into the daily life on these rugged Islands.

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds

Chatham, Royal, Wandering, Buller’s, Salvin’s, Grey-headed, Campbell and Black-browed Albatross, Chatham, Magenta, Westland and Grey Petrel, Broad-billed and Fairy Prions, Chatham (Island) and Pitt (Island) Shag, Grey-backed Storm(-) Petrel, Chatham Oystercatcher, Weka, Shore (Plover) Dotterel, Chatham and Red-crowned(-fronted) Parakeets, Chatham (Island) Pigeon, New Zealand (Australasian) Pipit and Chatham (Island) Gerygone.

Habitats Covered
coastal bush, farmland, shoreline and sea-pelagic.
Expected Climate
temperate climate, cool in mornings and evenings, wind and rain possible. Day temperatures 15-24 degrees celcius.
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
Tour Pace & Walking
wasy pace
3 star
Ease of Birding
very easy
Number of Species Expected
65 – 80
Other Attractions
Traditional farming, fishing, walking and hiking.
Photographic Opportunities
Tour Route Map Route Map Itinerary Voice Note Client Testimonials

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour, which covered a wonderfully varied range of environments, scenery, birds, etc., and was a great introduction to New Zealand. Erik Forsyth did a good job of rearranging times and/or dates for two of the pelagics, which were ultimately successful--even given substantial rain and wind.

Erik was a delight to be with, as his sense of humour was a constant. Having him at the helm added an unexpected and pleasurable dimension to the whole trip. The entire trip was terrific: beautiful scenery, nice people, good beer and food, and comfy accommodations.

Erik Forsyth is one of the best guides. Extraordinary knowledge of birds as well as New Zealand itself. Personable and cheerful with a wonderful sense of humour. He is attentive birders' needs and made every effort to meet and exceed any special needs. He knew where to try and find the endemics, and the only one we didn't see or hear was because of inclement weather. We would definitely travel with Erik again should that opportunity present itself.

The tour was well-planned and Erik Forsyth was an excellent leader. The accommodation, food and transportation were also excellent.

The trip sounded good in the write-up but far exceeded our expectations. The pelagic trips were outstanding. The number of participants was perfect. Erik knew the birds and their calls/sounds and was very effective in getting everyone to see the birds. He called many pelagic IDs well before other people had even spotted the birds. Erik’s skills in managing the participants showed and his sense of humour added to his effectiveness. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
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