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.

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
easy pace
3 star, Chatham Hotel
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

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 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.

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

Erik Forsyth did a fine job of managing the group. He is a constitutionally positive person and conveyed a healthy sense of humour that was appreciated by the entire group. He clearly endeavoured to spend time with all of the members of the group which brought about good group cohesion. He met each person, regardless of their birding ability, and facilitated their birding experience.

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.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
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