Kiwis, Kakas & Keas
The islands of New Zealand have been isolated for almost 80 million years, resulting in the evolution of a fascinating array of unique plants and wildlife.
The islands' avifauna evolved in the virtual absence of mammals; consequently the birds occupied niches, which on other land areas were taken up by browsing mammals, squirrels and mice. It is these unique birds for which New Zealand is renowned – the flightless Kiwi, the endangered Takahe, and perhaps the most enthralling, the Kokako.
The waters around New Zealand are home to a wide array of oceanic species; seven species of albatross and two-thirds of the world's penguins breed here. With the arrival of people came rats and stoats, and the island haven that had served ground-dwelling vertebrates and invertebrates for so long was destroyed. Many species became extinct; many more continue to be at risk and are steadily declining in number. Despite this, the human impact has fortunately been less than in most other comparable countries.
Nowhere else in the world is there such a rich diversity concentrated in so small an area. Over half of the flora and more than 70 bird species are endemic. They include some of the rarest in the world – Takahe, Kakapo, Black Stilt and the world's rarest penguins, the Yellow-eyed and the Fjordland.
So, there is nothing quite like New Zealand – its birds, its scenic diversity and grandeur, its character, its equable climate and its friendly people.
All of these make it one of the most pleasurable and rewarding countries to explore. Ornitholidays has travelled to New Zealand on over 23 previous occasions and our local guide for 2018 will be Mark Ayre, an ornithologist and naturalist, who has led our tours for many years.
31 October to 17 November 2018 (land)
Leader: Mark Ayre
2018 Cost 6.170 euro - 5700 euro GBP around £5.538 -£5.116
single room suppl. €890 (£798)
Kiwis, Kakas & Keas
Secretary & Logistic Coordinator
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