New Zealand supports a host of unusual endemic land birds and a rich assemblage of marine birds and mammals, and our new Highlights birding tour is designed to seek most of these endemics in a shorter package than our standard tours. Beginning in Auckland we target North Island Brown Kiwi, amongst a multitude of other species that will no doubt be lifers. The first of our several pelagic excursions 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 Takahe, strange North Island Kokako, the endangered Stichbird and North Island Saddleback. We finish our time on the North Island at combing the Miranda shoreline for the bizarre Wrybill and numerous migrant waders. Crossing onto the South Island, our first stop is to search for the localised Rough-faced (King) Shag before disembarking on Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, where the dazzling South Island Saddleback, New Zealand Robin, Orange-fronted Parakeet and friendly Weka will no doubt entertain us, before we embark on another pelagic adventure into the fantastic upwelling off Kaikoura, searching for an abundance of albatrosses, shearwaters and petrels. Lastly, we catch our ferry to the rugged Stewart Island in search of Southern Brown Kiwi and a variety of other specialities including New Zealand Kaka, Yellowhead and Rifleman prior to another pelagic outing visiting several nearby islands. With excellent lodging and meals, awe-inspiring scenery and fantastically friendly “Kiwis”, this is a tour for both birders and non-birding spouses alike, and comes highly recommended!
Chances for Yellow-eyed, Fiordland and Little (Blue) Penguin, Rough-faced Shag, New Zealand Scaup, Brown Teal, New Zealand Grebe, Takahe, Southern Brown & North Island Brown Kiwi, New Zealand Kaka, Weka, New Zealand Storm Petrel, Fairy Tern, Wrybill, New Zealand Plover, South Island Oystercatcher, New Zealand Pigeon, Red-crowned & Orange-fronted Parakeet, North Island Kokako, Stichbird, Whitehead, Yellowhead, Rifleman, South Island Saddleback, New Zealand Bellbird, New Zealand Robin, Tui, New Zealand Fantail
New Zealand Fur Seal, Bryde’s Whale, Orca
mostly very relaxed with some longer walks