Overview

New Zealand supports a host of unusual endemic land birds and a rich assemblage of marine birds and mammals. We start our tour in the beautiful grasslands of the Mackenzie region of the South Island where we will take in the beauty of the Southern Alpine range,  while looking for the critically endangered Black Stilt, before hiking through pristine Red Beech forest surrounded by breathtaking glacier-lined mountains, where the massive Kea (an Alpine parrot) can be found. In Fiordland National Park we will have a boat tour of the stunning Milford Sound while 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, Yellow-eyed and Fiordland Crested Penguins and a pelagic outing visiting several nearby islands in search of a variety of seabirds including 8 species of albatross! Our final destination will be Dunedin, where a visit to a Northern Royal Albatross colony 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!

Tour Facts Top Birds
Southern Brown Kiwi, Black Stilt, South Island Saddleback, Yellowhead, Rifleman, Black-fronted Tern, Kea, Wrybill and Blue Duck
Habitats Covered
forest, beach, estuary and pelagic at sea
Expected Climate
subtropical with chances for occasional rain
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper Leader and local leaders where necessary
Tour Pace & Walking
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.
Accommodation
good hotels, roads, facilities and wifi throughout etc
Ease of Birding
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
Number of Species Expected
+-100
Other Attractions
Mt Cook scenery and glaciers, Southern Alpine Mountain Range, Mitre Peak Milford Sound, island life Stewart Island, picturesque city of Dunedin
Photographic Opportunities
good to excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

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.

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 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.

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.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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