New Zealand info please

Subject: New Zealand info please
From: "Fiona Anderson" <>
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2007 10:21:49 +1000

Hi Craig,

Here are a few thoughts.

In the South Island, Kaikoura is great.  Go on the Ocean Wings Cruise from
which they chum for albatross etc.  The West Coast of the South Island is
extremely scenic with Fox & Franz Josef glaciers.  Near Mt Cook if you go
that way and on the main road south of the Mt Cook turnoff there is a
conservation area fenced off which is your only chance of seeing the highly
endangered Black stilt.

Queenstown is probably the prettiest place although it is now fairly
commercialised.  Driving through the Eglington Valley (plenty of robin like
S.I. Tomtits and S.I. robins should be there) and over the pass to Milford
is lovely and if you have time it is really worth doing.  The Eglington
Valley has a lot of beech forests (Nothofagus as opposed to the European
Fagus beeches) so look for Yellowheads there.  On fastflowing parts of the
river in the valley you may be lucky enough to spot Blue duck (we did but
not until we had done a lot of searching)  Anywhere on the West Coast
(including Milford Sound) you ought to see plenty of Keas.  They are highly
destructive parrots so don't go too far away from your rental car or you
will return to find no rubber around the windows/windscreen or on the wiper
blades as well as a possibly mangled aerial.  En route to Milford and just
before you enter the Homer Tunnel, stop in the parking area to the right.
All along there are the scree slopes where the rock wrens are. So happy

On the South Island braided river beds look for wrybill among the gravel. On
the coast near Dunedin at the southern mouth of Otago Harbour there is a
yellow-eyed penguin rookery - very commercialised but not as bad as Phillip
Island - it is very well sign-posted.  If you go through the hills to the
south of the harbour near the castle, you should find riflemen very high in
the foliage.  They have a very high pitched call which my daughter can hear
but my ears are too old to.

If you go to Stewart Island which is rather lovely, don't miss going across
to Ulva Island - it is very close.  Walking around there you ought to  see
saddleback, kaka (another parrot), S.I. Robins, loads of wekas (flightless
rail similar to our Buff-banded rail) and possibly NZ wood pigeon (not
related to our pigeons). I believe they have a tame kakapo (highly
endangered flightless parrot) there now too.  From Oban (basically the only
place to stay) you can go out at night with the Kiwi Man (he took David
Attenborough out) and you are almost guaranteed Brown Kiwi.  He has to be
booked a long way ahead.  I think the address is 
But do book early if you intend to use him.  There is another kiwi man at
Okarito on the West Coast but I know nothing about him except that his
contact is 

Hope this helps,



From: "Craig Doolan" <>
To: <>
Subject: [Birding-Aus] New Zealand info please
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 13:24:02 +1000

I?m planning a trip to New Zealand in early-mid May.  I?ll have about 8-10
days on the South Island only and will have to squeeze the birding around
the requirements of the non-birding members of my group.  Any information
you can provide on the birds of the area, or just great places to go, would
be greatly appreciated.  I anticipate we?ll focus on the southern half of
the island and hopefully include a visit to Stewart Island and we?ll have a
vehicle for the whole trip.

Craig Doolan

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