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, 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!
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
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.
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.
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 is not just totally knowledgeable about the birds, he makes the whole journey effortless and fun.
The tour was well-planned and Erik Forsyth was an excellent leader. The accommodation, food and transportation were also excellent.