Situated 700km to the south-east of mainland New Zealand, these islands have long been ignored and seldom visited by birders and travellers. In our short time here, we will search the mainland for several rare and highly sought-after species such as: Chatham (Island) Shag, Pitt (Island) Shag, Chatham Oystercatcher, Chatham (Island) Pigeon, Red-crowned Parakeet, Chatham (Island) Gerygone, and the Chatham sub-species of Tui and New Zealand Pipit.
Excitement comes in the form of a pelagic trip into the Pacific Ocean to the rugged Pyramid Island where we will marvel at the only breeding colony in the world of Chatham Albatross. While enjoying spectacular flight views of this gem and nesting activity, we will scan the surrounding ocean for many other species of petrel, shearwater, and albatross that feed in the area. If we are very lucky, we may see the rare Chatham Petrel or even the near-mythical Magenta Petrel (or Taiko as it is known locally), observed by only a few birders. We will also have the opportunity to moor alongside the South East Island to look for the highly endangered Shore (Plover) Dotterel feeding on the wave-platforms and Chatham (Island) Parakeet and Tomtit foraging in the stunted trees. Our visit to these smaller islands will give us opportunities to see some of the rarest birds in the world, to go where few birders have been and allow an insight into the daily life on these rugged Islands.
Chatham, Royal, Wandering, Buller’s, Salvin’s, Grey-headed, Campbell and Black-browed Albatross, Chatham, Magenta, Westland and Grey Petrel, Broad-billed and Fairy Prions, Chatham (Island) and Pitt (Island) Shag, Grey-backed Storm(-) Petrel, Chatham Oystercatcher, Weka, Shore (Plover) Dotterel, Chatham and Red-crowned(-fronted) Parakeets, Chatham (Island) Pigeon, New Zealand (Australasian) Pipit and Chatham (Island) Gerygone.
Coastal bush, farmland, shoreline and sea-pelagic.
Temperate climate, cool in mornings and evenings, wind and rain possible. Day temperatures 15-24 degrees celcius.
Traditional farming, fishing, walking and hiking.
What our clients say about tours to New Zealand
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.
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 is not only extremely knowledgeable but also accommodating and fun.
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
The tour was well-planned and Erik Forsyth was an excellent leader. The accommodation, food and transportation were also excellent.