17522
New Zealand
Birding New Zealand
Some of the most unique and exciting birding happens in New Zealand. Come discover why as you learn from experts while exploring diverse ecosystems and spotting kiwis, kakapos and more.
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Program No. 17522RJ
Length
19 days
Starts at
4,899
Flights start at
1,475
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19 days
18 nights
45 meals
16 B 1BR 14 L 14 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
International Flight
In Flight
DAY
3
Visit Cornwall Park & Mt. Eden / Ornithologist Lecture
Auckland
BR,D
New President

Morning: Arrive Auckland Int. Airport. Coach to Cornwall Park Garden Restaurant. This is a delightful arboretum with both native and exotic tress where a number of bird species will be seen quite clearly.There will be good opportunities to view these on the short walk back to the coach after the meal..We will also enjoy a short talk about the history of this park..

Brunch: At Cornwall Park

Afternoon: Coach to Mt.Eden for overview of City This is a great opportunity to view a vista of the country's largest city, which is set between two magnificent harbours. Coach to Hotel and check-in. Introductory Lecture (with power-point presentation) by a leading Ornithologist from the University. This is something which should not be missed..

Dinner: Welcome dinner at Restaurant

DAY
4
Visit to Bird Sanctuary Island
Auckland
B,L,D
New President

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Walk to ferry terminal (10 mins) Board ferry to Tiritiri Matangi Island (Bird Sanctuary) for all-day guided Field trip view native birds (some rare & endangered).This island, which is only a 60-minute trip from Auckland, is regarded by many as the highlight of this program as there are several species which you are unlikely to see elsewhere. It was planted in native trees by enthusiastic volunteers some 50 years ago and is largely run by docents. You will have a truly enjoyable experience there.

Lunch: Packed lunch at visitor centre

Afternoon: Free time to walk on Island. Meet at ferry terminal. Ferry to Auckland & walk to hotel

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

DAY
5
View On-Shore Gannet Colony
Auckland
B,L
New President

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Coach to Muriwai Beach area for guided field Trip with Department of Conservation Officer to view on-shore Gannet colony. There are very few on-shore gannet colonies in the world and this is one of them. The viewing sites are very well placed and access paths are sited to bring participants really close to these magnifiicent birds. The coastal views from this area are also quite delightful.

Lunch: At local cafe

Afternoon: Coach for field trip to Cascade Kauri Park in the Waitakere Forest area to view birding sites. Return to hotel. Then FREE TIME

Dinner: Dinner on your own to sample local fare.

DAY
6
Visit Noted Shorebird Centre
Miranda
B,L,D
Rolleston Motel

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: . Coach to Miranda Shorebird Centre. Introductory Lecture by Director & view exhibits. Miranda, on the Thames Estuary, is the principal viewing area in New Zealand for wading and shorebirds, many of these being migratory, particularly the Godwit, which flies from Alaska. As the colonies are sometimes at quite a distance, depending on the tides, several telescopes with tripods will be supplied.

Lunch: Packed lunch at Visitor centre.

Afternoon: Short coach trip & walk to Shorebird viewing area for guided field trip (schedule based on tidal situation) Coach to Motel & check-in.

Dinner: At local restaurant

DAY
7
Scenic Coach Trip to Turangi
Turangi
B,L,D
Parklands Motor Lodge

Breakfast: At motel cafe

Morning: Board Coach for trip to Rotorua. This is a very popular centre for tourists as it is situate on the Volcanic Plateau and is the site of a large Lake and considerable geo-thermal activity, some of which is harnessed for electricity production. It is also the principal centre in New Zealand for Maori Culture, being the home of the Arawa Tribe.

Lunch: Packed lunch at birding site.

Afternoon: Arrive Rotorua and check in to Hotel. Coach to Te Puia Maori Centre for Maori Cultural Performance & Lecture. Also guided tour of geothermal area.and Kiwi House.

Dinner: At hotel

DAY
8
Manawatu River Estuary Shorebirds / Coach to Wellington
Wellington
B,L,D
Bay Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Short walk along paved pathway

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board coach for transfer to Wellington. Short stop at Birdng site en route (Manawatu River Estuary) (dependent on tides).where local birding enthusiasts will guide us.

Lunch: At Taihape restaurant en route

Afternoon: . Continue coach trip with stop en route for dinner and possible viewing of seabirds..Arrive Wellington. Check-in to Hotel.

Dinner: At "Fisherman's Table" Restaurant in sea-side location.

DAY
9
Field trip to Zealandia Bird Sanctuary & Native Reserve
Wellington
B
Bay Plaza Hotel

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Coach to Karori Wildlife Centre (Zealandia) for guided walk through wooded area to view native birds. Also Otari Native reserve. Then coach to Te Papa Museum of New Zealand to view exhibits at your own discretion.

Lunch: Lunch on your own

Afternoon: FREE TIME

Dinner: Dinner own choice, to sample local fare.

DAY
10
Ferry to South Island / Coach to Kaikoura
Kaikoura
B,L,D
Donegal House

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board coach to Harbour Terminal and embark on Ferry to South Island..(1 hour in Cook Strait and then 2 hours in sheltered waters, in the scenic Marlborough Sounds.). .Disembark at Picton and board coach for short trip to Blenheim and then on to Kaikoura.

Lunch: At cafe en route.

Afternoon: Arrive at Kaikoura and check in to Motor Lodge. Kaikoura has a fascinating history as it was a very small, quiet seaside town until about 30 years ago, when an enterprising person realized.that it was a perfect site for the viewing of the sperm whales which frequent the coast in large numbers offshore. Since then the viewing industry has expanded to also view the dolphins and,more importantly,the pelagic birds which are also there in great numbers. The industry is now well served with modern first-class vessels for this purpose. Expert instructors are on board these vessels..

Dinner: At Lodge restaurant.

DAY
11
Guided Offshore Viewing Trip: Pelagic Birds
Kaikoura
B,L,D
Donegal House

Breakfast: At Hotel

Morning: Coach to Harbour Terminal to board Ocean Encounter vessel for scheduled trip to view pelagic birds (albatross,shearwater and petrel), with lecture and commentary by local expert. Return to Motor Lodge..

Lunch: At local cafe.

Afternoon: Enjoy a short walk on the famed Peninsular Trail, with panoramic views of coastline and bird-life.

Dinner: Board coach for dinner with local families.

DAY
12
Guided Field Trip: Ashley River Banks
Rangiora
B,L,D
Lilybrook Motel

Breakfast: At Lodge

Morning: Board coach for trip to Rangiora. On arrival take coach to Ashley River park for field trip viewing braided river type birds with local guide..

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field

Afternoon: Check in to motel. FREE TIME

Dinner: At local restaurant.

DAY
13
Visit to Arthur's Pass National Park
Staveley
B,L,D
Rata Escape Lodge

Activity note: Walking over flat and sometimes uneven ground

Breakfast: At Lodge

Morning: Lecture and guided field trip.. Board coach to Arthur's Pass.National Park to view native alpine bird species.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field..

Afternoon: Coach to Staveley.via Inland Scenic Route Check in to private lodge and meet our hosts...

Dinner: With local residents in private lodge.

DAY
14
Coach to Foothills of Southern Alps / Birding Field Trip
Staveley
B,L,D
Rata Escape Lodge

Breakfast: At lodge.

Morning: Board coach for trip to Mt. Summers.This takes us into the foothills of the Southern Alps, which dominate the island like a backbone and contain some of the country's highest peaks. Here we will see a range of .. native forest and braided river birds.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field.

Afternoon: Return to private lodge.

Dinner: Dinner at lodge.

DAY
15
Twizel via Lake Pukaki & Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park
Twizel
B,D
Mackenzie Country Inn

Breakfast: At Lodge

Morning: Board coach for journey to Twizel, visiting Aoraki Mt. Cook (New Zealsnd's highest) National Park en route. There will also be stops for birding at various other points.

Lunch: Lunch own choice..

Afternoon: Arrive at hotel and check in.

Dinner: Dinner at Hotel..

DAY
16
Coach to Bluff / Ferry to Stewart Island
Half-Moon Bay
B,L,D
South Sea Hotel

Breakfast: At lodge.

Morning: Today we will take a coach bus to Bluff, by way of Invercargill. Along the way we will make several birding stops, to admire both native species and migratory birds from all over the Northern hemisphere.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we arrive at Bluff and board a high-speed ferry to Stewart Island. Travel time on the ferry is approximately one hour. Arrive at Half-Moon Bay and disembark, where a shuttle will take us to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

DAY
17
Bush Walk: Pelagic Birds
Half-Moon Bay
B,L,D
South Sea Hotel

Activity note: Walking on wellformed forest trails

Breakfast: At Hotel

Morning: Our leader will take us to various sites to view forest and sea birds. Stewart Island is regarded as a mecca for birders, with some species such as the South Island Saddleback found nowhere else. It also enjoys quite a micro-climate - a great range of indigenous flora are found here, such as grove fuschia. Several smaller islands are recognised bird sanctuaries.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field.

Afternoon: Our leader will take us on a bush walk quite close to Oban (Half-Moon Bay). While we traverse the indigenous vegetation, admire the views of the bay and listen for the warbling calls of the native birds. NOTE: An optional Kiwi viewing trip at night is available at extra cost.

Dinner: Dinner at Hotel.

DAY
18
Ulva Island
Half-Moon Bay
B,L,D
South Sea Hotel

Activity note: Walk through forest

Breakfast: At Hotel

Morning: This morning we will travel to Ulva Island Native Bird Sanctuary, in sheltered waters. This sanctuary is very highly regarded and is visited by birders from throughout New Zealand and from abroad. Some of our rarer birds are found in good numbers in this site, such as the yellowhead, the Stewart Island robin, and Stewart Island subspecies of the southern brown kiwi and rifleman. Additionally, endangered yellow-eyed penguins, who are native to New Zealand, often visit the island.

Lunch: Lunch- at cafe.

Afternoon: FREE TIME

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at Church Hill restaurant.

DAY
19
Ferry to Bluff / Coach to Airport / Depart Program
In Flight
B,L

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: The ferry back to Bluff departs at 8am. At 10am, we will take a coach bus to Queen's Gardens in Invercargill. The Queen's Gardens boast a superb collection of native plants, and also an aviary of indigenous birds, rarely seen in captivity.

Lunch: Lunch in Cafe.

Afternoon: Coach to Invercargill Airport where program ends.






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