New Zealand supports a host of unusual endemic land birds and a rich assemblage of marine birds and mammals. Our comprehensive tour is designed to seek almost every possible endemic and take full advantage of New Zealand’s oceanic diversity. Beginning in Auckland, we target North Island Brown Kiwi, amongst a multitude of other species that will no doubt be lifers. The first of our several pelagic excursions then takes place in the Hauraki Gulf in search of the recently rediscovered New Zealand Storm Petrel and a myriad of other species. Continuing to the fabled Tiritiri Matangi Island, we will bird this predator-free reserve for the prehistoric South Island Takahe, strange North Island Kokako and Stitchbird, before combing the Miranda shoreline for the bizarre Wrybill and numerous migrant waders. We finish our time on North Island visiting Kapiti Island searching for the endangered Little Spotted Kiwi, migrant Long-tailed Cuckoo and Tomtit.
Crossing onto South Island, our first stop is Blumine Island Bird Sanctuary, where the dazzling South Island Saddleback and New Zealand Robin will no doubt entertain us, before we embark on another pelagic adventure into the fantastic upwelling off Kaikoura, searching for an abundance of albatrosses, shearwaters and petrels. Travelling across South Island, we will seek the endemic flightless rail known as the Weka, as well as the critically endangered Black Stilt, before hiking through pristine Red Beech forest surrounded by breathtaking glacier-lined mountains, where Pipipi (Brown Creeper) and the massive Kea can be found. In Fiordland National Park our targets will include Blue Duck, the cute New Zealand Rockwren and New Zealand Falcon, before catching our ferry to the rugged Stewart Island in search of Southern Brown Kiwi and a variety of other specialities prior to another pelagic outing visiting several nearby islands. Our final destination will be Dunedin, where a visit to a Northern Royal Albatross colony and a Yellow-eyed Penguin breeding site will certainly be amongst the many highlights of this rewarding tour. With excellent lodging and meals, awe-inspiring scenery and fantastically friendly “Kiwis”, this is sure to be a tour of a lifetime!
Southern Brown, North Island Brown & Little Spotted Kiwis; Paradise Shelduck; Blue Duck; Brown Teal; New Zealand Scaup; Yellow-eyed, Fiordland & Little Penguins; New Zealand Storm Petrel; Wandering, Antipodean, Southern Royal, Northern Royal, Campbell, Shy, Salvin's & Buller's Albatrosses; Cook's, Westland & Black Petrels; Buller's & Hutton's Shearwater; New Zealand Grebe; Spotted, Rough-faced, Foveaux, Otago & Spotted Shags; Weka; South Island Takahe; South Island & Variable Oystercatchers; Black Stilt; Wrybill; New Zealand Plover; Black-billed Gull; White-fronted & Black-fronted Terns; New Zealand Pigeon; New Zealand Falcon; Kea; New Zealand Kaka; Yellow-crowned & Malherbe's Parakeets; Rifelman; New Zealand Rockwren; Tui; Grey Gerygone; North Island Kokako; North Island & South Island Saddlebacks; Stitchbird; Yellowhead; Whitehead; Pipipi; Tomtit; New Zealand Robin; New Zealand Fernbird; New Zealand Pipit.
New Zealand Fur Seal; Hector's & Dusky Dolphins; Killer Whale
mudflats, estuary, river, pelagic, wetlands, islands, alpine grasslands, mountain beech forest, temperate rainforest
subtropical to temperate. the south can get very cold. New Zealand often experiences four seasons in one day, so you should be prepared for sudden changes in weather and temperature.
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
mostly very relaxed with some longer walks
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.
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 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.
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