New Zealand: Endemic Birds

New Zealand: Endemic Birds

  • Next tour dates OPEN 
  • Duration 9 days
  • Lodging 3-4 stars
  • Difficulty Moderate
  • Group size Max. 8 people
  • Price TBD (contact us for pricing)

Overview

Nestled in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is composed of two main islands and close to 600 other smaller islands. Due to its remoteness and geographic isolation, highly diverse and unique animal and plant life has evolved here.

From the snow-covered Southern Alps to the very active Taupo Volcano Zone, this nation encompasses a huge variety of ecosystems and endemism. Over 80% of this nation’s vascular plants are endemic. It’s lack of native mammalian predators has allowed several flightless, endemic birds to evolve, including the incredible kiwi. But this abundant diversity isn’t only found on land. The waters around New Zealand are ripe with marine mammals including fur seals and cetaceans.

During this 9-day New Zealand Birding Tour we will get to experience just a taste of what this highly diverse country has to offer. With our focus on the native bird life, we will explore the diverse landscapes, enjoy beautiful scenery and learn about the culture of the island as we search for some of the country’s most iconic species.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO AUCKLAND

Welcome to our New Zealand Birding tour! Upon your arrival to Aukland, we will meet you at the airport for the transfer to our hotel north of Auckland City. As time permits, we will do some afternoon birding en route. 

DAY 2: TIRTIRI MATANGI ISLAND

Today we will travel to Tiritiri Matangi Island. This island sanctuary encompasses roughly 220 hectares. Once almost completely deforested, tree planting efforts in the 80s and 90s restored the island’s forests and grasslands. Today, many rare and endemic species can be found here, including StitchbirdNorth Island KokakoNorth Island SaddlebackNew Zealand PigeonSouth Island Takahe, and New Zealand (North Island) Robin. Other birds we will be looking for during our day on the island are Brown QuailSpotless CrakeNew Zealand KakaEastern RosellaRed-crowned ParakeetNew Zealand Fantail, and Silver-eye.

DAY 3: KERIKERI

Today we will travel to Kerikeri via Tawharanui. Kerikeri, located at the western end of the Kerikeri Inlet, is a lovely town of historical importance and also a great place for enjoying some birding. Today, we will continue our search from some of New Zealand’s endemic and iconic species Fairy TernRed-breasted (New Zealand) Dotterel, both South Island and Variable oystercatchersNew Zealand ScaupNew Zealand GrebeWhiteheadGray GerygoneTui, and New Zealand Bellbird. Once the sun sets we will set out into the night to search for some nocturnal species including including North Island Brown Kiwi and Morepork.

DAY 4: MIRANDA

This morning we will travel to Miranda, to search for some of the beautiful shorebirds that can be found in New Zealand. Here, we have good chances of observing Wrybill, both oystercatchers, Black SwanAustralian ShovelerParadise ShelduckPied StiltWhite-faced HeronRoyal SpoonbillLittle Pied CormorantBlack-billed GullWhite-fronted TernSacred KingfisherSwamp Harrier and some Arctic migrants including Far Eastern CurlewBar-tailed GodwitRed Knot, and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.

Northern Royal Albatross by Brent Stephenson

DAY 5: TURANGI & PUREORA FOREST

This morning we will make our way to Turangi via the Pureora Forest. The Pureora Forest encompasses 78,000 hectares of ancient rainforest. The giant trees and rich lagoons create habitats for a number of birds, mammals, reptiles and other wildlife. We will continue to add more species to our list including New Zealand KakaTomtitNew Zealand FalconYellow-crowned ParakeetLong-tailed Koel and Shining Bronze-CuckooRifleman, and Blue Duck. Today will be a highlight of our New Zealand birding tour!

DAY 6: WELLINGTON

We will continue our exploration of this beautiful island nation as we travel to Wellington via Foxton. Here we will search for several different species including Australasian BitternFernbirdNew Zealand GrebeLittle Black CormorantPied CormorantAustralasian Swamphen, and New Zealand Scaup. We will also have another opportunity to search for Wrybillhere.

DAY 7: MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS

Today will take a ferry to Picton, for an afternoon boat ride on Marlborough Sounds. Here, we will search for New Zealand King and Spotted shagsFluttering ShearwaterCommon Diving-PetrelFairy PrionAustralasian GannetBlack-fronted and White-fronted ternsOrange-fronted Parakeet, and South Island SaddlebackLittle Penguin can be seen in this area. We also may catch glimpses of Hector’s Dolphin. After our boat ride we will travel to Kaikoura.

New Zealand Grebe by Brent Stephenson

DAY 8: KAIKOURA

This morning we will enjoy an early boat ride in the hopes of seeing up to six species of albatross including the Northern Royal AlbatrossHutton’s ShearwaterCape PetrelNorthern Giant-PetrelNew Zealand King Shag and many other species can be seen here. In the afternoon, we will continue with some more local birding in search of  Pipipi (Brown Creeper)New Zealand FantailTomtitNew Zealand (South Island) RobinAustralasian Pipit and New Zealand Bellbird, among others.

DAY 9: CHRISTCHURCH & DEPARTURE

Today we will travel to Christchurch for our afternoon departure. En route, we will search for White-capped AlbatrossBlack-fronted TernBlack-billed GullDouble-banded PloverParadise ShelduckNew Zealand Scaup, and possibly Black Stilt

Our New Zealand Birding Tour concludes in Christchurch.

Species

BIRDS

  • North Island Brown Kiwi
  • Black Swan
  • Paradise Shelduck
  • Blue Duck
  • Australian Shoveler
  • Gray Teal
  • New Zealand Scaup
  • Brown Quail
  • New Zealand Grebe
  • New Zealand Pigeon
  • Long-tailed Koel
  • Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
  • South Island Takahe
  • Australasian Swamphen
  • Spotless Crake
  • Pied Stilt
  • Black Stilt
  • South Island Oystercatcher
  • Variable Oystercatcher
  • Red-breasted (New Zealand) Dotterel 
  • Double-banded Plover 
  • Wrybill
  • Bar-tailed Godwit
  • Red Knot
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  • Black-billed Gull
  • Fairy Tern
  • Black-fronted Tern
  • White-fronted Tern
  • Little Penguin
  • White-capped Albatross
  • Northern Giant-Petrel
  • Cape Petrel
  • Fairy Prion 
  • Hutton’s Shearwater
  • Fluttering Shearwater
  • Common Diving-Petrel
  • Australasian Gannet
  • Little Pied Cormorant
  • Spotted Shag
  • Little Black Cormorant
  • New Zealand King Shag
  • Australasian Bittern
  • White-faced Heron
  • Royal Spoonbill
  • Swamp Harrier
  • Southern Boobook (Morepork)
  • Sacred Kingfisher
  • New Zealand Falcon
  • New Zealand Kaka
  • Red-crowned Parakeet
  • Yellow-crowned Parakeet
  • Malherbe’s Parakeet
  • Eastern Rosella
  • Rifleman
  • Tui
  • New Zealand Bellbird
  • Gray Gerygone
  • Whitehead
  • Pipipi
  • North Island Kokako
  • North Island Saddleback
  • South Island Saddleback
  • Stitchbird
  • New Zealand Fantail
  • Tomtit
  • New Zealand Robin
  • Fernbird
  • Silver-eye
  • Australasian Pipit

TOUR BASICS

Guide: Yeray Seminario
Single Supplement: TBD
Lodging: Nice, clean and comfortable with private bath
Food: Hearty local and international cuisine
Weather: Warm temperatures during the day. A jacket or sweater is recommended for evenings.
Difficulty: Moderate. We will be doing some walks, but at a gentle pace, and some days will require long hours driving on bumpy roads and boat rides on open water.

*For more information on what is included/not included, as well as our booking and cancellation policies, please review our Terms & Conditions.

* With smaller groups, an additional fee will be charged.