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.
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.
coastal bush, farmland, shoreline and sea-pelagic.
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
Ease of Birding
Number of Species Expected
65 – 80
Traditional farming, fishing, walking and hiking.
Erik Forsyth's depth of knowledge of the birds of New Zealand was astounding. He delivered on all the species possible, and some even became good friends with multiple good sightings before the trip was through. He was good-natured and managed our group well throughout the long hours of driving on several days. The accommodations were good, as were the night walks for kiwis, the pelagic tours, and the visits to islands and refuges to see rare, endemic and endangered species. I loved the trip from the beginning to the end. We had good weather, too! Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for the wonderful experience exploring New Zealand. I fell in love with the birds and the country. Thanks, Erik, for making it happen. Four stars, two thumbs up, all possible positive accolades.
Erik Forsyth was excellent, a great guide; professional, knowledgeable, friendly and pleasant to be around. He was also a careful driver who spent many hours driving us around New Zealand. All in all, I was left very satisfied and happy with the tour; and this being my first Rockjumper tour, I was left with a very positive impression of the company and its staff. I would certainly like to use Rockjumper and Erik again!
Beautiful country, good birding sites, good group of travelers. Eric Forsyth was an excellent guide, handling all situations very well, including weather-related activity cancellations that were beyond his control.
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.
Erik Forsyth is a brilliant tour leader and birder; I would definitely like to travel with him again in the future!