Monday, June 17, 2013


Mangere Island, Chatham Archipelago

Early morning on DAY 16: Birding Down Under Voyage, we shall cruise around spectacular Pyramid Rock a basalt-outcrop south of Pitt Island. This is the only breeding place of the Chatham Island Albatross. Landings are not possible (nor practical — a fact you will appreciate once you see it!). However, great views of nesting albatrosses can be had from the ship. Hundreds of the albatrosses will follow the ship!

From the Pyramid we shall cruise to nearby South East Islands. This has to be one of the world's greatest nature reserves and landings are not permitted. However, we should have great views of the very rare and critically endangered, New Zealand Shore Plover (now reduced to only 20 individuals.— let's hope there are still some left when we visit) and Chatham Island Oystercatcher from the Zodiacs as we cruise along the coast. We should also see the Pitt Island Shag which nests on the island.

This afternoon we shall cruise past Mangere and Little Mangere Islands situated to the west of Pitt Island. Mangere is known as one of the only two sites in the world where Black Robin are found. We will hear the story of how this endemic species was rescued from the brink of extinction in the 1970's. when the total world population consisted of just six birds

DAY 17: Birding Down Under Voyage will find us at Waitangi for breakfast. You and your luggage will be ferried ashore by Zodiac and taken by coach to the Chatham Island Airport. A special charter flight (scheduled for approximately mid-day) will fly you to Christchurch. Customs and quarantine formalities will be completed either before departing the Chatham Islands or on arrival at Christchurch.

In case of delays due to weather and/or operations, we ask that you not book any onward travel from Christchurch until the following day. Full details of this charter flight will be provided to you on receipt of booking with Shearwater Journeys, Inc. On arrival in Christchurch you will be transferred from the airport to a central city location. 

PLEASE NOTE: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Landings of the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares, Antipodes or Bounties.

PRE-TRIP: SOUTH ISLAND: This voyage begins on South Island, New Zealand. I am currently preparing a pre-trip, on land, which will include pelagic trips from Kaikoura in particular. 

POST-TRIP: TASMANIA: Tasmania is a delightful island to visit, hosting twelve endemic species of birds, and seven endemic subspecies. It is also a great place to view wildlife such as the Tasmanian Devil and platypus, among others. 

If you are interested in either pre or post trips, please contact Debi directly at: Spaces will be limited to fewer than the number of folks signed on to the main voyage. 
Debi Shearwater

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