The North Island of New Zealand supports a host of unusual endemic land birds and a rich assemblage of marine birds. Our North Island tour is designed to seek almost every possible endemic and take full advantage of fabulous scenery. Beginning in Auckland, we target North Island Brown Kiwi, amongst a multitude of other species that will no doubt be lifers. A pelagic excursion 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 Saddleback, before combing the Miranda shoreline for the bizarre Wrybill and numerous migrant waders. From here we visit the scenic Tongariro National Park in the centre of the North Island where we check fast-flowing streams for the rare Blue Duck. We finish our time on the North Island visiting the famous Zealandia Reserve searching for the endangered Little Spotted Kiwi, New Zealand Falcon and Stitchbird. With excellent lodging and meals, awe-inspiring scenery and fantastically friendly “Kiwis”, this is sure to be a tour of a lifetime!
North Island Brown Kiwi, Little Spotted Kiwi, North Island Kokako, North Island Saddleback, Whitehead, Rifleman, Stitchbird, South Island Takahe, Wrybill and Blue Duck
forest, beach, estuary and pelagic at sea
subtropical with chances for occasional rain
8 with 1 Rockjumper Leader and local leaders where necessary
easy pace with undemanding walks. Most walks are on trails in reserves. Trails tend to be flat with reasonable space, but can be a little slippery when wet.
good hotels, wifi etc
most species are easily seen in open habitat. Kiwi are found at night and are wary of sound and light, so a fair amount of luck is needed.
Tongariro National Park
good to 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.
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.
Even though the weather did not always cooperate Erik was able to get us to sites to see the endemic birds of NZ. The pelagic trips were excellent as was Erik's quick response to having to use an alternate boat for our last trip. He was very helpful in allowing me to spend time with a relative I had not seen in a long time and she and I were able to visit while waiting for the Interisland ferry.
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.
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.
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