Listen to the names: Snares, Bounty, Antipodes, Auckland, Campbell, Macquarie and Chatham Islands. They are music to birders ears. Apart from the Chathams, these islands are probably more isolated now than they were when they were discovered in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, and were regularly visited by sealers, whalers and government steamers searching for castaway sailors. It is relatively simple to get to the Chatham Islands, but opportunities to visit the others are rare. This expedition is the only one to include all of these islands. The islands occupy the tempestuous latitudes of the ‘Roaring Forties’ and the ‘Furious Fifties’ but they are also known as the Albatross Latitudes and with good reason. Ten of the world’s albatross species breed in the region; five of them nowhere else but here! In fact this zone, where the air is never still, hosts the most diverse collection of seabirds in the world. More than 40 species breed down here – that is at least 11 percent of the entire world’s seabird population.
With the exception of the Chathams, the islands are all designated UNESCO World Heritage sites and are afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the Australian and New Zealand governments, so passage to their shores is not granted lightly. There are also islands that we visit within the Chatham Archipelago with similar status and protection. This expedition has huge appeal to pelagic enthusiasts, penguin fanatics and those interested in island endemics. You don’t have to be a keen birder though to enjoy this voyage. People interested in islands and island ecology, botany, geology and an increasing number of photographers have enjoyed this trip immensely, as have those interested in the history of southern ocean discovery and exploration. This is one of the ‘signature expeditions’, which has operated annually for over 20 years, so you will benefit from a hige volume of knowledge and expertise that has been gained over this time.
Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.
Auckland & Campbell Teals, King, Gentoo, Snares, Southern Rockhopper, Royal, Yellow-eyed & Little Penguins, Wilson’s, Grey-backed & Black-bellied Storm Petrels, Wandering, Antipodean, Southern Royal, Light-mantled, Black-browed, Campbell, Shy, Salvin’s, Grey-headed, Chatham & Buller’s Albatrosses, Mottled, Cook’s, Magenta, Westland & White-chinned Petrels, Sooty Shearwater, Campbell, Macquarie, Chatha, Pitt & Auckland Shags, South Island, Chatham & Variable Oystercatchers, Subantarctic & Snares Snipe, White-fronted Tern, New Zealand Falcon, Red-crowned Parakeet, New Zealand Bellbird, Tomtit, New Zealand Fernbird, New Zealand Pipit, Chatham Pigeon, Chatham Gerygone and Black Robin.
New Zealand Sea Lion, New Zealand Fur, Southern Elephant and Leopard Seals, Dusky Dolphin, Southern Right, Sperm, Bryde’s, Long-finned Pilot and Killer Whales
cool to cold
What our clients say about tours to New Zealand
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…
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.
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.
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.
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 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…
The tour was well-planned and Erik Forsyth was an excellent leader. The accommodation, food and transportation were also excellent.
Erik Forsyth is not only extremely knowledgeable but also accommodating and fun.
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 just totally knowledgeable about the birds, he makes the whole journey effortless and fun.