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.
New Zealand supports a host of unusual endemic land birds, and a rich assemblage of marine birds and mammals. Our comprehensive New Zealand birding tour is designed to seek almost every possible endemic and take full advantage of New Zealand’s oceanic diversity. Our New Zealand birding tours begin in Auckland and 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 takes place in the Hauraki Gulf, in search of the recently rediscovered New Zealand Storm Petrel and a myriad of other species. Our New Zealand birding tour continues to the fabled Tiritiri Matangi Island, where we will bird this predator-free reserve for the prehistoric Takahe, strange North Island Kokako and Stichbird, before combing the Miranda shoreline for the bizarre Wrybill and numerous migrant waders. We finish our time on North Island inside the fern-tree forests, searching for the noisy New Zealand Kaka, migrant Long-tailed Cuckoo and tiny Rifleman. Crossing onto South Island, our first stop is Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, where the dazzling South Island Saddleback and New Zealand Robin 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. Next on our New Zealand birding tour, we travel across South Island, where we will seek the endemic flightless rail known as the Weka, as well as Great Spotted Kiwi, before hiking through pristine Red Beech forest surrounded by breathtaking glacier-lined mountains, where Brown Creeper and the massive Kea can be found. In Fiordland National Park our targets will include Blue Duck, the cute Rock Wren and New Zealand Falcon, before catching our ferry to the rugged Stewart Island. Southern Brown Kiwi and a variety of other specialties will entertain us before another pelagic outing visiting several nearby islands. Our final New Zealand birding tour destination will be Dunedin, where a visit to a Northern Royal Albatross colony and a Yellow-eyed Penguin breeding site will certainly be amongst the many highlights of this rewarding New Zealand tour. With excellent lodging and meals, awe-inspiring scenery and fantastically friendly “Kiwis”, this is sure to be a New Zealand birding tour of a lifetime!
Our Galápagos of the Southern Ocean cruise sets off from New Zealand, from where we explore four groups of sub-Antarctic islands: the Snares, Auckland, Macquarie and Campbell Islands. These waters support the richest seabird assemblage on Earth, plus an impressive diversity of endemic land birds and waterfowl. Vast penguin and seabird colonies include the entire world population of Royal Penguins on Macquarie! For more information on this exciting pelagic expedition, click here.