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natural history from north to south

A wonderful natural history exploration of New Zealand, this itinerary takes in North, South and Stewart Islands, with a particular focus on the botanical highlights of the country, as well as the endemic birdlife and other wildlife.

Whether its birds or botany, landscapes or general natural history, this holiday has something for everyone. We will explore a wide range of habitats with the scenic backdrop of New Zealand’s spectacular landscapes.

Along the way the highlights of this trip should include the endangered birdlife of Tiri Tiri Matangi, where Saddleback, Takahe and Kokako will entertain us; the ancient Kauri forests of the Waitakere Ranges; the spectacular peaks and glaciers of Mount Cook National Park, with alpine flora and the critically endangered Black Stilt; albatrosses, dolphins and Sperm Whales out from Kaikoura; the spectacular scenery of Milford Sound; and the bizarre crepuscular kiwis feeding on Stewart Island.

New Zealand is a remarkable assemblage of islands, stretching from the subtropics in the north to the subantarctic in the south. This holiday has been planned to enable us to see a very wide range of the ecological diversity that occurs in the islands, starting far enough north in North Island to see mangroves and the huge Kauri trees and ending on Stewart Island off the southern tip of South Island, the magical climax of the trip.

Our foremost objective is, of course, to enjoy the incredible variety of scenery and wildlife, but the holiday offers much more than that for those who are keen to learn more. The leaders have extensive knowledge of the fauna and flora and will be able to offer detailed information about the wildlife of a country where more than 90% of the native plants and animals are endemic to Oceania.

Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.

South Island Robin standing alert, New Zealand
Pterostylis banskii flower, New Zealand
New Zealand Copper on a stem, New Zealand