Services & Tours
At this stage we are developing regular pelagic trips out of several New Zealand ports – primarily out of Sandspit (near Warkworth in the Hauraki Gulf), Whitianga in the Coromandel Peninsula, and Stewart Island. See our scheduled tours on the ‘Pelagic birding trips’ page. We will also begin running trips out of other ports as time progresses. If you are looking for a boat out of a particular port, then email us, we will almost certainly be able to help.
See our Trip Reports section for info on previous pelagic trips.
We are currently developing Photographic tours operating anywhere in the country, designed and led by Brent. At this stage tours will be custom built for indiviuals or small groups. If you are interested in discussing this option further then please email us, we will almost certainly be able to help.
Planned and custom-built trips
We offer a series of tours for up to 8 people at a time. For a schedule of planned tours see our ’21-day New Zealand tours’ page. Our normal tour of New Zealand is a 21-day tour that covers both of the main islands and Stewart Island.
However, we can custom-build tours of any length around New Zealand, and even put together something to include the Chatham Islands. We would like to emphasise that our aim is to provide the travelling birder with whatever it is that they desire. Thus, small parties (of 2 – 4) are welcome, and we can offer a variety of accommodation types (from backpackers to luxury) to suit your needs, and indeed, your pocket. Obviously, prices will vary with tour length and location, but you may be pleasantly surprised at how little you need to spend to take advantage of our services – we really do represent excellent value for money.
Custom-made tours are always available, with a chance to concentrate on aspects of your choice. Perhaps you are a seabird fanatic and want to do a series of pelagic trips, a shorebird nut that wants to ensure a good variety of waders, or one solely interested in our endemic landbirds – how about a tour dedicated to finding the 5 generally recognised species of Kiwi? The options are virtually endless and we are more than happy to accommodate whatever plan suits you best.
Since many of New Zealand’s special birds occur in places of great natural beauty, we shall always be able to show off our scenic splendour, and all our guides have a wide interest in natural history – so will be keen to show you native fauna and flora as well as the birds which are our main targets. We are birders first and foremost and have an unrivalled, up to date, knowledge of where the birds are and how to find them. Email us and tell us how you would like to see this wonderful country and it’s birds – and we will make it happen for you.
Pre-trip planning and site advice
Good birding sites come and go, populations ebb and flow. Printed site guides are woefully inadequate, inaccurate, and quickly out of date. Many visiting birders will not feel the need to use a full guiding service, but our up-to-the-minute New Zealand birding knowledge will be invaluable, and is available in the form of a Pre-trip consultancy. We are willing and able to provide a range of services as detailed below:
- Full itinerary planning: Let us know how long you have in New Zealand, what your birding aims are, and the style of accommodation required. We will do the rest.
- Additional site/species information once you have an itinerary: We can advise on fine tuning an itinerary that you have made, with specific site information – particularly useful for avoiding wild goose chases to sites no longer supporting ‘advertised’ species, or pointing out extra (or better) sites nearer to a planned route.
- Difficult species advice: How to maximise your chances of finding the more elusive New Zealand endemics. Tell us which species are important to you, and we will tell you how to find them.
- NZ Rarities: Though many NZ rarities have more appeal to New Zealand birders, there are several that will be of great interest to visitors. For example, few would want to drive past a vagrant Penguin of any species, and many visitors will desire some of the rare migrant shorebirds that are often present for whole seasons. We have a finger on the pulse of the NZ rarity scene better than anyone, and will share that knowledge with you.
- General advice: Weather, tide times, driving times, accommodation, best time of day for a site, alternative routes/sites when plans have to change, there are a multitude of things that you might want to know – and we have all the answers.
- Post-trip – What was that bird? If you want our opinion on any birds that you are unable to identify, or are uncertain about, please email us during a trip, or after your trip and we will do our best. (No charge for this).
Our charges for these services are worked out on a basis of how much work we put in, at a rate of NZ$50 per hour. Tell us exactly what you want and we will quote a price for the service.
Email us for more information.