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The Pacific is the greatest ocean on earth. With an area exceeding that of all dry land on the planet, it covers more than a third of the planet’s surface. There are around 30,000 islands throughout the Pacific Basin, – four times more than in all other oceans and seas combined. Of the 7,500 islands located in the South Pacific, only 500 are inhabited. The existence of so many islands has created enormous opportunities for evolutionary experimentation in life forms, and perhaps the best example of this is with birds. No matter how remote or far-flung, birds have always managed to find islands to colonise. The result is a fantastic array of birdlife on islands throughout the Pacific. The ‘Treasured Islands’ theme for our South Pacific tours recognise the biodiversity riches of this part of the world.
Our tours focus on western Pacific islands, which have favoured species diversity. Being close to large land-masses increases the chance of more colonisations and the large size of these islands allows for species divergence and occupation of a wide range of habitats. In the Pacific, birds have evolved slightly different forms on each island in a group, resulting in islands with a unique complement of species (endemism). Fiji offers many birding delights (large musk parrots, frenetic flashing silktails, garrulous honeyeaters, exquisite golden and orange doves, Fijian goshawk, tropic-birds, frigatebirds, boobies and noddies). New Caledonia is also a must (kagu, cloven feathered dove, horned parakeet), with tropical, coral-fringed, rainforest-rich, mountainous islands or coral atolls throughout the region! The Solomon Islands is recognised for its great scientific and conservation importance. A wide range of insular species has evolved on the numerous islands making it the South Pacific’s premier birding destination. Birds range from the tiny and delightful pygmy parrot to the awesome Blyth’s hornbill.
KWT TAHITI, NEW CALEDONIA & FIJI Birding & Nature Tour 2008 (with Birdwatching Breaks UK)
2009 dates to be announced – Contact us for full itinerary, pricing options and check lists.
Day 1: Arrive Tahiti. Stay Mandarin Hotel in the heart of Papeete
Day 2: Visit island of Mourea. Stay Mandarin Hotel
Day 3: This morning we visit the Papahue Reserve with local expert from Manu (La Societe D’ornithologie de Polynesie) for the endangered Tahiti Flycatcher. In the afternoon we then visit the Papenoo Valley for other endemic species. Stay Mandarin Hotel, Papeete
Day 4: Morning flight to Noumea. Arrive La Tontouta airport and transfer to Noumea. Stay Le Pacifique, Noumea.
Day 5: Early morning visit to Mont Koghis for forest species including Notou, Shrikebill and Cloven-feathered Dove. After lunch we make a lagoon trip from Noumea for snorkelling and birding on the coral island I. Signal. Stay Le Pacifique, Noumea
Day 6: Fly to Lifou on first flight. Transfer to our accommodation at We, the provincial capital (a very sleepy little seaside village). Explore forest areas of Lifou for endemic white-eyes plus other forest species which are easier to get here than on the mainland; also time out at some superb beaches. Stay Drehu Village
Day 7: More exploration of Lifou, with forest walks and superb ‘champagne’ and white-sand beaches. Return flight to Noumea. Stay Le Pacifique, Noumea.
Day 8: Parc de la Riviere Bleue for endemics birds (incl. Kagu, Crow Honeyeater, Red-fronted Parakeet, Notou or NC Imperial Pigeon) and forest walks; also the remarkable Marquis landscape of the South Province. Stay Le Pacifique, Noumea.
Day 9: We drive to north to La Foa. Afternoon visit to Sarramea, a beautiful valley set amongst high mountains. Stay at Hotel Banu, La Foa.
Day 10: From La Foa we drive inland to Farino for a day trip; upland species including the secretive New Caledonian Grassbird, Horned Parakeet, Cloven-feathered Dove. Stay second night at Hotel Banu, La Foa.
Day 11: Drive to La Tontouta airport to catch our international flight to Fiji. After arrival at Nadi we transfer to our resort on the north coast of Viti Levu with birding en route. Stay Wananavu Beach Resort
Day 12: Pre-breakfast birding at nearby Viti Levu Bay (mainly roadside). Late morning depart for boat trip: reef and island visit including Vatu-i-Ra (Bird Island) in Bligh Water plus swimming and snorkelling for those who are keen. Stay Wananavu Beach Resort
Day 13: Early start for drive to Suva via Nadarivatu and the Central Highlands. Birding en route (Vanikoro Flycatcher, Fiji Parrotfinch, Wattled Honeyeater, Orange-breasted Myzomela) and in afternoon. Masked Shining Parrot, Collared Lory, Barking Pigeon, Fiji Bush Warbler, Scarlet Robin and Golden Dove. Arrive early evening. Stay Raintree Lodge
Day 14: Colo-I-Suva Forest Park (across road from Raintree Lodge) for early morning visit for Fiji Shrikebill, Slaty Flycatcher, Streaked Fantail and others. Catch afternoon flight to Taveuni. Stay Garden Island Resort.
Day 15: Des Voeux Peak for Silktail and Golden Dove early morning. Drive to south of island for more forest species. Stay Garden Island Resort
Day 16: Morning or early afternoon flight to Nadi and connect to international flights.
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|Our tours are total packages. Tour prices include:All travel (it is important to note where tours start and finish – for example ‘ex Auckland/Auckland’ means that the tour starts and ends in Auckland NZ) -flights, boat charters, transfersAll AccommodationAll mealsAll applicable entrance fees and custom fees to places of interest for the number of visits included in the itinerariesLocal guidesThe only extras are:Expenses of a personal natureAlcoholic drinksTravel insuranceIndividual requirements for passportsEmbarkation tax on departureTipsIf you are traveling as a single, but want to share a room, we will try to find someone for you to share a room with. However, if there is no other single person on the tour who wants to share we will have to charge you the full single rate.