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New Zealand

Kiwis, Kakas & Keas

29 October to 18 November 2017

Kiwis, Kakas & Keas

Maximum of 12 clients.

2017 Cost: £6,399 single room supplement £750

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 2017 will be Mark Ayre, an ornithologist and naturalist, who has led our tours for many years. Our airfare will allow you to make various stopovers or extensions to this holiday.

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Outline Itinerary
Day 1 Depart London
Day 2 In transit
Day 3 Arrive Auckland
Day 4 Auckland
Day 5 Taupo
Day 6 Tongariro National Park
Day 7 Picton
Days 8-9 Kaikoura
Day 10 Arthur’s Pass
Days 11-12 Franz Josef
Days 13-14 Lake Ohau
Day 15 Dunedin
Days 16-17 Stewart Island
Days 18-19 Lake Te Anau Downs
Day 20 Depart Dunedin
Day 21 Arrive London