[3rd – 8th October 2019]
This is a 6 day birding tour to the Pacific Island paradise of New Caledonia aimed at seeing all the New Caledonian endemics including the iconic Kagu. While most of the time is spent on the main island of Grande Terre, day trips are made to Lifou and Ouvea in the Loyalty Islands for the island specialties such as Ouvea Parakeet, Large Lifou White-eye and Small Lifou White-eye. Most of the mainland endemics can been seen at Blue River Park (Riviere Bleue) and the Giant Tree Fern Park (Parc des Grandes Fougeres) near Farino, but a short trip up into the central mountain chain will probably be needed for New Caledonian Thicket Bird.
Accommodation is in a comfortable western style hotel.
This is an easy tour which can be managed by anyone with only a moderate level of fitness. There are no major hikes on rough or steep hillsides and, except in the parks, the roads are generally sealed. Tracks within the parks can get rather muddy in the wet season but should be reasonable at this time of year.
Inter island flights are in ATR 72s. These are twin engine turboprops.
2019 TOUR COST:
2019 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
DOMESTIC FLIGHT COST:
- 5 nights accommodation
- Meals as itinerary (check PDF itinerary)
- Transfers for duration of tour
- Domestic Flights
- Guide services of the tour leader
- Site fees
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- International Flights
- Drinks & Snacks
- Items of a personal nature
Day 1 - Arrive Noumea
Arrive in Noumea. Meet with guide and transfer to hotel. The recommended flight from Sydney leaves at 1230 and arrives at 1620.
Day 2 - Parc Nacionale Riviere Bleue
Full day at Blue River. Most of the local endemics can be found here and it is the stronghold of the Kagu. Horned Parakeet, New Caledonian Parakeet, Cloven-feathered Dove, New Caledonian Imperial Pigeon, New Caeldonian Myzomela, Grey-eared Honeyeater, New Caledonian Friarbird, Crow Honeyeater, New Caledonian Cuckooshrike, New Caledonian Crow, Yellow-bellied Flyrobin, Green-backed White-eye and Striated Starling are all possible this day but some are easier at the Parc de Fougeres.
Day 3 - Lifou
Day trip to Lifou where Large Lifou White-eye and Small Lifou White-eye will be target birds. Fly over in the morning and return late afternoon.
Day 4 - Ouvea
Day trip Ouvea for the Ouvea Parakeet. Again this means an early start for a domestic flight over returning late afternoon. Once the Parakeets have been seen general bush birding around the island can be done and sea-watching can be productive if it is windy.
Day 5 - Parc de Fougeres
Head north towards Farino and the Parc de Fougeres. This gives us a second chance for the majority of the species found In Riviere Bleue. From here we can head up into the central mountain chain for the New Caledonian Thicketbird.
Day 6 - Morning birdwatching then take onward flight home
Early morning in the park and surrounds and then transfer to Tontouta airport for your flight home The recommended flight for Sydney goes via Brisbane and leaves at 1415 arriving at 2040.