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 Stitchbird, North Island Kokako, North Island Saddleback, New Zealand Pigeon, South Island Takahe, and New Zealand (North Island) Robin. Other birds we will be looking for during our day on the island are Brown Quail, Spotless Crake, New Zealand Kaka, Eastern Rosella, Red-crowned Parakeet, New 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 Tern, Red-breasted (New Zealand) Dotterel, both South Island and Variable oystercatchers, New Zealand Scaup, New Zealand Grebe, Whitehead, Gray Gerygone, Tui, 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 Swan, Australian Shoveler, Paradise Shelduck, Pied Stilt, White-faced Heron, Royal Spoonbill, Little Pied Cormorant, Black-billed Gull, White-fronted Tern, Sacred Kingfisher, Swamp Harrier and some Arctic migrants including Far Eastern Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Red 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 Kaka, Tomtit, New Zealand Falcon, Yellow-crowned Parakeet, Long-tailed Koel and Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Rifleman, 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 Bittern, Fernbird, New Zealand Grebe, Little Black Cormorant, Pied Cormorant, Australasian Swamphen, and New Zealand Scaup. We will also have another opportunity to search for Wrybill here.
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 shags, Fluttering Shearwater, Common Diving-Petrel, Fairy Prion, Australasian Gannet, Black-fronted and White-fronted terns, Orange-fronted Parakeet, and South Island Saddleback. Little 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 Albatross. Hutton’s Shearwater, Cape Petrel, Northern Giant-Petrel, New 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 Fantail, Tomtit, New Zealand (South Island) Robin, Australasian 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 Albatross, Black-fronted Tern, Black-billed Gull, Double-banded Plover, Paradise Shelduck, New Zealand Scaup, and possibly Black Stilt.
Our New Zealand Birding Tour concludes in Christchurch.