With its picturesque mountains, meadows, and fjords, New Zealand, or Aotearoa ("the land of the long white cloud" in Maori), is an enchanting land that has remained isolated for millions of years, a fact reflected in the near-absence of native land mammals and in the ancient derivation of its avifauna. This is the home of such primitive and endemic families of birds as the amazing kiwis, New Zealand wattlebirds, and the New Zealand wrens. Although New Zealand supports relatively few species of native landbirds, it boasts some forty-five endemics, some of which, such as saddlebacks, Kokako, and Stitchbird (itself a new family), are among the most endangered birds on Earth. It's also richly endowed with seabirds and is one of the cradles of seabird evolution.

Our tour visits some of the wildest and loveliest parts of the islands, with an emphasis on the endemic landbirds, seabirds, and shorebirds. If you are someone who doesn’t like the idea of 12-hour or overnight pelagic trips but want to see albatrosses and other tubenoses, this may be the tour for you! Boat trips off South and Stewart islands and visits to several coastal sites will allow us to experience close at hand the tremendous variety of marine birds and mammals of this region on boat outings lasting less than 4 hours! The short sea-trip off Kaikoura is one of the best pelagics in the world, where you will be nearly within arm’s length of albatrosses and petrels just minutes from shore!

Our travels will take us to many places of great scenic beauty on both North and South islands, from incredible glacier-ringed Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park to the deep-water upwellings off the seaward Kaikouras, the wild and remote Stewart Island, the Northern Royal Albatross nesting colony at Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula, the impressive volcanos of Tongariro National Park, the Firth of Thames with its roosting shorebirds and, finally, Tiritiri Matangi Island, home to a wonderful collection of native landbirds!

Hauraki Gulf Pelagic Extension
The short optional extension after the main tour includes an all-day pelagic on the Hauraki Gulf off the northeast coast of the North Island, with New Zealand Storm-Petrel, rediscovered in 2003 after it was believed extinct for 50 years, as the main target.

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.<