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
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, roads, facilities and wifi throughout 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
Mt Cook scenery and glaciers, Southern Alpine Mountain Range, Mitre Peak Milford Sound, island life Stewart Island, picturesque city of Dunedin
good to excellent
Erik Forsyth was excellent, a great guide; professional, knowledgeable, friendly and pleasant to be around. He was also a careful driver who spent many hours driving us around New Zealand. All in all, I was left very satisfied and happy with the tour; and this being my first Rockjumper tour, I was left with a very positive impression of the company and its staff. I would certainly like to use Rockjumper and Erik again!
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.
The tour was well-planned and Erik Forsyth was an excellent leader. The accommodation, food and transportation were also excellent.
The trip sounded good in the write-up but far exceeded our expectations. The pelagic trips were outstanding. The number of participants was perfect. Erik knew the birds and their calls/sounds and was very effective in getting everyone to see the birds. He called many pelagic IDs well before other people had even spotted the birds. Erik’s skills in managing the participants showed and his sense of humour added to his effectiveness. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
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.
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