New Zealand, also known as Aotearoa in Maori, boasts an astounding array of endemic birds. To truly immerse oneself in this remarkable country’s charms, sighting a puffin – let alone counting droplets of water on its feathers – close enough is truly remarkable.
Rockjumper provides full-time, professional tour leaders to guide trips of varying duration and budget levels. Their logistics team can also create custom tours tailored to suit individual interests.
Marlborough/Queen Charlotte Sound
Marlborough wine region produces 77% of New Zealand’s total wine output and boasts an amazing array of birds that call its idyllic waters home, including Arctic migrants like Bar-tailed Godwit and Red Knot that flock in by the thousands, to New Zealand Pied Oystercatchers with laterally-curved bills as well as Wrybill with its laterally-curve bill; making Marlborough an incredible birding hotspot worthy of your time and consideration.
Tiritiri Matangi Island in Hauraki Gulf is an internationally renowned center for conservation of native birds and wildlife, home to numerous Important Bird Areas (IBA). Any visitor should make time for a guided tour around this beautiful sanctuary island in order to hear its distinctive bird song amid regenerating forest areas, or view rare or endangered birds such as Kea parrots, Kaka and Yellow-fronted Parakeets among many others.
Naturalist Journeys offers both organized tours and Independent Birding Ventures for travelers to customize their own adventure with the assistance of expert guides. Their aim is to enjoy birding alongside fellow birders while immersing themselves in local culture and ecology while searching for some of New Zealand’s finest birds. Furthermore, Naturalist Journeys operates responsibly within their operations by supporting both communities and environments alike.
Kaikoura, located on New Zealand’s North Island’s rocky peninsula jutting out into the sea from New Zealand’s North Island is an idyllic destination for nature enthusiasts. Surrounded by snowcapped mountains that wrap the town year-round and marine waters filled with whales, seals, and seabirds; Kaikoura offers both beauty and abundance of wildlife!
This region is well known for its breathtaking landscapes that can best be explored on foot with one of many walks available in Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway(opens in new window). Mountain bikes also offer breathtaking views across clifftop scenery along many tracks in Kaikoura.
People looking for more tranquil pursuits may opt for scenic flights (opens in new window), Llama Trekking tours or exploring inland wilderness via Llama trekking (both open in new windows). Or alternatively visit one of Kaikoura’s museums(opens in new window) for an informal and modern approach to learning about its natural and cultural history.
Whale watching tours(opens in new window) are an enjoyable and popular pastime throughout the year as Sperm Whales and Humpback Whales pass through our region. Fur seal colonies provide entertainment; in warmer months you can even swim with common or dusky dolphins if weather permits!
Stewart Island is an unexplored naturalist’s paradise tucked across the Foveaux Strait from New Zealand’s South Island. Its dense native forest of podocarp trees and ferns provides shelter to many bird species – such as flightless Stewart Island kiwis. Additionally, Stewart Island offers some of the best opportunities for seeing kakapo parrots, yellowhead and southern saddleback birds worldwide.
Oban is an oasis of relative safety from predators, where residents enjoy daily encounters with an abundance of native birdlife – Tui, bellbirds, kereru (native pigeon) and fantail are common visitors to homes and gardens while noisy raucous kaka parrots often call loudly from nearby trees. Tuis can often be seen near town’s edge while penguins can often be spotted near Halfmoon Bay beach over summer; larger colonies of sooty shearwaters breed on Muttonbird Islands off shore as well.
Ulva Island Sanctuary, New Zealand’s only predator-free sanctuary, offers visitors an opportunity to see wild kiwis during daylight hours; though even experienced birdwatchers often only glimpse them briefly. Wekas aren’t hard to come across either and could come right up to your picnic table on one of Ulva’s many secluded beaches!
Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled within Paterson Inlet on Stewart Island, is one of New Zealand’s crown jewels. A predator-free island within Paterson Inlet, Ulva offers stunning examples of pure New Zealand nature where indigenous plants and birds thrive – perfect for seeing New Zealand Kaka – large parrots with olive-brown coloring and musical whistles – Titi Fernbirds as well as flightless Weka (or native woodhen) and Kereru (owl).
On this trip, Aurora Charters’ purpose-built pelagic boat will give you an unforgettable opportunity to discover Te Wharawhara Marine Conservation Area’s pristine marine reserve, Te Wharawhara Marine Conservation Area. Here, you’ll witness marine life such as Albatross, Petrels and Shearwaters; Little Blue Penguins around Halfmoon Bay and Crested Penguins along coastlines and beaches are just some of the creatures you will get a close up look at during an amazing marine adventure!
Many operators combine this coastal and native bush experience with Ulva Island’s guided walk and kiwi spotting (more on that below), although you can also book tours solely focusing on pelagics and kakapo spotting; this option makes an excellent family outing, provided children respect wildlife by remaining quiet while comfortably walking for 3 hours.