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Bush and Beyond

New Zealand's Kahurangi National Park, Guided Walk Specialists

Birders Special

The Birds

Birders at Mangarakau Swamp
Birders at Mangarakau Swamp

Birds of Kahurangi

Due to New Zealand's approximately 80 million years of isolation, our bird life evolved differently to that of other continents. We had a large array of flightless birds. The weird and wonderful - as we like to put it - prehistoric birds in historic times! It was a treasure trove of surprises for the early ornithologists.

We have lost a number of species among these fascinating birds, but many are still here, and Kahurangi Park has many species from the more common of our birds, as well as some which are rare and endangered.

For those interested in New Zealand's bird life, the 'Birders Special' is the ultimate trip for you.

This is a 7-day trip in which we cover every bird habitat you can imagine: from alpine, sub-alpine, montane and lowland forest, to wetlands and sandspit.

Perky South Island Robins are frequently seen on tracks in the bush
Perky South Island Robins are frequently seen on tracks in the bush

Trip Facts

Duration: 6 days
Accommodation: Comfort - cottage or cabin is on a double or shared basis. Clients are asked to bring a sleeping bag, towel, and personal items.
Fitness level: Easy
Price: $1,995 per person

Kea on Mt Arthur
Kea on Mt Arthur

Day One

Drive to the Flora car park at 945 metres. From here we walk up to the Mt Arthur hut at the bush-line, two hours on a well-graded track. Above the bush you are awarded magnificent views over Tasman Bay and the interior of Kahurangi.
On the way, you will be shown the 'Friends of Flora' conservation trapping programme, which was initiated by Bush & Beyond original owners, Bill and Maryann to save the endangered Blue Duck (Whio).

On returning to the car park we will have a scenic drive over the Takaka Hill, known locally as 'marble mountain'. It features fantastic outcrops of weather-worn karst limestone and marble formations. We then drive up to our accommodation beside a reservoir in the Cobb Valley where we will overnight.

Some of the birds that may be seen today are Kea, Kaka, Fantail, South Island Robin, Bellbird, Rifleman, Kakariki and many more.

A tiny tomtit
A tiny tomtit

Day Two

In the morning your guide will advise you as to which day hike you will be taking (see further information on the "Cobb Comfort" trip. There are several options to choose from depending on your fitness and interests.

A Tui feeding on flax flowers in the Cobb Valley
A Tui feeding on flax flowers in the Cobb Valley

Days Three

Today we will select another walk whether it be along the glacial valley floor or to alpine lakes.
At the end of the day we will transfer through to the Collingwood area to overnight.

Bird sightings may include Kea, Kaka, Robin, Bellbird, Tomtit and many more.

A Tui feeding on flax flowers in the Cobb Valley
A Tui feeding on flax flowers in the Cobb Valley

Day Four

This morning we call in at Farewell Spit where the Original Farewell Spit Nature Tours will be waiting to take you on a birding trip out on to the sandspit. Experience the changing land and seascapes and skies as you journey with them.

The owner of the Original Farewell Spit Safari, Paddy Gillooly, has a family history as old as the local settlement of Collingwood. His family set up the tours in 1946. You will be taken out to the now automated lighthouse on the spit, with birding interpretations along the way.

We transfer to West Haven Inlet on the West Coast. This large tidal estuary and nearby protected freshwater wetland is a haven for many bird species. We will stay in cottage style accommodation for two nights.

Bird sightings may include Fernbird, Bellbird, Grey Duck, Scoup, Spoonbill and many more. The sound of the elusive Bittern may be heard booming after dark.

Royal Spoonbills
Royal Spoonbills

Day Five

Drive back down to the lowlands and the Takaka Valley and on to Westhaven Inlet on the West Coast. This large tidal estuary and nearby protected freshwater wetland is a haven for many bird species. We will stay in cottage style accommodation for two nights.

Bird sightings may include Fernbird, Bellbird, Grey Duck, Scoup, Spoonbill and many more. The sound of the elusive Bittern may be heard booming after dark.

On Knuckle Hill, with a splendid view of Westhaven Inlet
On Knuckle Hill, with a splendid view of Westhaven Inlet

Day Six

From the lodge there are several options for our free day, including a tidal walk, a walk around the swamp area, or a climb of Knuckle Hill. From here you have amazing vistas of Westhaven Inlet and Farewell Spit, the longest natural sandbar in the world, in the distance.

Bird sightings may include all of the above and also Cormorants (known locally as Shags) and gulls.

We will return to Motueka or Nelson at approximately 4pm to 5pm and take you to your accommodation.

"My goals: Get more informed about New Zealand birds and tramp in new terrain. Goals met, plus excellent company, outstanding and varied country, unbelievable tramping huts. Hot showers, fine meals....! As well: Fine conservationists spreading the word.
Nola Burrell - New Zealand

Upcoming Guided Walks

Heaphy Track Guided Walks 15th-20th September
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 22nd-27th September
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 29th September - 4th October
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 13th-18th October
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 20th-25th October
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 27th October - 1st November
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 3rd-8th November
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 4th-9th November
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 10th-15th November
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 17th-22nd November
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 18th-23rd November
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 24th-29th November
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 1st-6th December
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 2nd-7th December
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 8th-13th December
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 15th-20th December
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 16th-21st December
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 28th December - 2nd January
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 29th December - 3rd January
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 5th-10th January
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 6th-11th January
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 14th-19th January
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 19th-24th January
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 20th-25th January
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 2nd-7th February
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 3rd-8th February
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 9th-14th February
Kahurangi Lighthouse 10th-14th February
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 16th-21st February
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 17th-22nd February
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 23rd-28th February
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 1st-6th March
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 2nd-7th March
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 8th-13th March
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 16th-21st March
Heaphy Track Guided Walks 22nd-27th March
Old Ghost Road Guided Walks 30th March - 4th April
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