• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Nature Quest New Zealand tours -any comments or reviews? (1 Viewer)


Active member
I am going to New Zealand in January 2010 and will have nearly 3 weeks to tour around from around Jan 8 to the 28th. I am particularly interested in marine mammals and pelagic birds, but enjoy it all. I am a good amateur wildlife photographer, so will be looking for photo ops, though I am not bringing a tripod.

I have signed up for Nature Quest's "The World of New Zealand Birds" 16 day tour of both islands which includes 6 pelagic trips of 1/2 or more from Hauraki Gulf to Stewart Island.

Given the fall of the US$ and the current small group size of this trip (2 others + me at last check), the trip is expensive by my standards ($500 NZ/day). My impression is that pelagic trips in NZ are all expensive as are prices in January. I was surprised that I have been unable to find any reviews of this tour on the web. I presume that Nature Quest are competent and well organized, but would derive some comfort from others' reviews and comments before I wire off a large portion of my savings to them!

I am comfortable and experienced traveling independently, and would like to spend less money, but I suspect that making all the arrangements for the pelagic trips and lodging would be "challenging" given my tight schedule. Any thoughts or comments?
I don't know about Nature Quest but I think you could easily arrange a lot of pelagic and boat trips yourself. That's what I did for my visit last year anyway!

Trips from Kaikoura:
From Picton (Marlborough Sounds):
Hauraki Gulf pelagics:
Tiritiri Matangi:
Stewart and Ulva Islands:
Thanks Andrew,

I spent the last hour reading your extremely thorough and helpful trip report from your 2008 trip. Well done!

Hope #1 is that 3 more folks have signed up for the Nature Quest tour which would lower my share of the tour cost by $1,500-2,400 NZ!

I am spoiled here in California by whale-watching trips I get for free (as a whale "expert" [sic.]). I am creating a spreadsheet that will give me a better comparison of how much I might (or might not) save by trying the trip independently.

The timing of my trip is set by when my sister will be in Aukland (from the UK). My nephew & niece are in Aukland year around.

Jim (some of my birdy photos at: www.pbase.com/jimscarff/)
Hi Jim
Nature Quest are great. You may even visit me Okarito Kiwi Tours, looking for the rarest kiwi in NZ.
They were here last week, again with a very small group. The guides they have are pretty incredible and switched on. You can't go wrong Jim.
Ian Cooper
Warning! This thread is more than 15 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread