Pterodroma pelagics New Zealand seabird expeditions

Hauraki Gulf (Auckland, New Zealand) and New Zealand's Far North Seabird Tours. Great itineraries for ship-based New Zealand Seabird Birdwatching Expeditions - Three Kings, NZ. South Pacific Seabird Expeditions and Oceanic Seabird Birdwatching Opportunities

Painting by Sarah McBeath

New Zealand Seabird Expeditions - Circumnavigation of New Zealand

Fully-dedicated pelagic bird-watching cruises through some of the richest known areas for seabirds in the world

Dates: 4 - 28 March 2006
Duration: 24 days (two consecutive voyages 12 days each)
Price per person: TBA
Limited to 10 passengers

Download full itinerary for Circumnavigation of New Zealand (1mb PDF).

Download detailed map for the NEW ZEALAND CIRCUMNAVIGATION SEABIRD EXPEDITION 2006 n(195kb PDF)

New Zealand has the most diverse seabird community in the world. Ninety-five species breed in the New Zealand region including 35 species (42%) that are endemic (breed nowhere else). In addition many other seabirds from across the Great Southern and tropical South Pacific Oceans visit New Zealand waters, making a visit Downunder for seabirds a truly memorable experience. The convoluted coastline of New Zealand is extraordinarily beautiful from the sea, and our Circumnavigation of New Zealand is the only trip of its kind. It is a fully dedicated seabird cruise around the three main islands and down to the Snares. Scheduled for March each year it is timed to see as wide a range of seabirds as possible Ė either breeding or visiting these waters. Our aim is to explore areas that are rarely visited, certainly from a seabird perspective. We canít fully predict what we might see, especially in those remote areas off Fiordland and along the western coasts of all three major islands, which makes the prospect so much more exciting.

Map of New Zealand showing ports of call

Two consecutive voyages, incorporating four legs following a figure-of-eight route around New Zealand:
VOYAGE SOUTH (Tauranga to Bluff)
Leg 1. Tauranga to Marlborough Sounds (5 days)
Leg 2. Marlborough Sounds to Bluff (including Snares) (7 days)
VOYAGE NORTH (Bluff to Tauranga)
Leg 3. Bluff to Marlborough Sounds (9 days)
Leg 4. Marlborough Sounds to Tauranga (3 days)

Join MIKE IMBER (NZ's leading seabird authority) and CHRIS GASKIN / KAREN BAIRD (Expedition leaders) for something very different – a ship-based expedition joining together all those pelagics we’ve dreamed of doing around NZ mainland. And at a time of the year great for seabirds!

We’ll search the continental shelf edge and oceanic rises, deep water canyons and a number of key offshore islands – Snares, Solanders, Three Kings, White Island. Also, Chatham Rise.Remote landings will include Fiordland, Stewart Island, plus Marlborough Sounds and the West Coast.

There will be many opportunities to chum en route to increase the chances of picking up hard-to-get species. Our vessel is ideal for close viewing of seabirds and other marine life.

The convoluted coastline of New Zealand, with its many islands is extraordinarily beautiful from the sea, and our New Zealand Circumnavigation Seabird Expedition is the only trip of its kind. Scheduled for March each year it is timed to see the maximum number of seabirds - either breeding or visiting these waters.

Our route will encompass New Zealand and is divided into consecutive journeys: Combined, they will trace a figure-of-eight route around New Zealand, passing the Poor Knights Islands, North Cape, Three Kings Islands, Cape Egmont (Taranaki), Queen Charlotte Sound (Marlborough Sounds), Cook Strait, Kaikoura, Chatham Rise, Banks Peninsula, Otago Peninsula, Stewart Island, Snares, Solanders, Fiordland, South Island's West Coast, Hawke Bay, East Cape and White Island (Bay of Plenty). You can take one or both of the two voyages.

Contact us at for more details and checklist.

Mike Imber has recently retired from the Department of Conservation where he worked for 40 years (including 21 years with the Wildlife Service) as a seabird and waterfowl biologist. He has specialized in research on petrels, particularly the Pterodroma and Procellaria species and storm petrels. This work has taken him onto many islands in the South Pacific, Indian, South and North Atlantic Oceans, and has led to the publication of over 50 papers and contributions to three books (Reader's Digest NZ birds; HANZAB; the current Checklist of NZ birds). Around New Zealand he has worked particularly on Whale Island (Bay of Plenty), Little Barrier, Chatham Islands, Codfish Island and Antipodes Islands. Many of these studies have been of the breeding biology of petrels, particularly in relation to the dire effects of introduced predators, and hence concerning the conservation of these petrels, but he has also carried out much research on the birds' diets of squids, fish and crustaceans, which has led on to work on diets of other marine animals (albatrosses, penguins, seals, whales and fish). He has a passion for the gadfly petrels (Pterodroma species), and there is nowhere else in the world that one would be better off for these than in New Zealand. He enjoys pelagic birding best of all but also is a keen beach patroller and wader watcher, and was on the Rare Birds Committee for many years.

Mike Imber
Mike Imber baning Little Shearwater, Mokohinaus
Wandering Albatross
Wandering Albatross
Kim Westerskov
Fairy Prions
Fairy Prion

Hadoram Shirihai
Salvin's Albatross
Salvin's Albatross

Hadoram Shirihai

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