Overview

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!

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

Tour Facts Top Birds
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.
Top Mammals
New Zealand Fur Seal; Hector's & Dusky Dolphins; Killer Whale
Habitats Covered
mudflats, estuary, river, pelagic, wetlands, islands, alpine grasslands, mountain beech forest, temperate rainforest
Expected Climate
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.
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
Tour Pace & Walking
mostly very relaxed with some longer walks
Accommodation
very comfortable
Ease of Birding
mostly undemanding
Number of Species Expected
135+
Photographic Opportunities
excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

ERIK IS A WONDERFUL GUIDE AND COMPANION WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR BUT ALSO WITH ATTENTION TO DETAIL. WE FOUND ALMOST ALL OF THE BIRDS ON OUR CHECKLIST AND ARE VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS.

Overall, a very good tour. Erik Forsyth got us onto all the most wanted birds and was attentive to everyone's needs. He was professional and kept the atmosphere fun and light.

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 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.

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.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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