Day 1: The tour will start this evening at Nadi (or Nandi) Airport in Fiji, where we will stay overnight.
Day 2: Today we will take a flight across to the island of Kadavu for a two nights stay. Once we have checked into our comfortable resort we will start our exploration of the island.
Day 3: During our time on Kadavu we will focus on searching for four endemics: Whistling (Velvet) Fruit Dove, Crimson Shining Parrot, Kadavu Fantail and Kadavu Honeyeater. We also have a chance of seeing Tongan (Shy or Friendly) Ground Dove.
Day 4: After some final birding on Kadavu we will fly back to Nadi and then onwards to Taveuni. The views from the plane should be spectacular: turquoise waters, coral reefs and green rainforests. Once we arrive on Taveuni we will drive to our fancy accommodation, right by the beach, where we will stay for three nights. The lodge is surrounded by tropical native gardens, volcanic hills and splendid reefs with multitudes of colourful tropical fish. Topped with great food and lovely hosts, our time here will surely be unforgettable.
Days 5-6: Most of the birding on the island will take place on the slopes of Des Veoux Peak, at 1320m, the second-highest point on Taveuni. Here, our targets will be the incomparable Orange Fruit Dove, Azure-crested Flycatcher and the bizarre but delightful Taveuni Silktail. Other Fijian endemics we can see here include Maroon Shining Parrot, Fiji Wattled Honeyeater and Yellow-billed Honeyeater. We will also have another chance for Tongan Ground Dove. Taveuni is surrounded by fantastic coral reefs, and we will have enough free time to enjoy some world-class snorkelling. We can also see a number of seabirds around the resort such as Tahiti Petrel, Lesser Frigatebird and Brown and Red-footed Boobies.
Day 7: After some final birding on Taveuni we will take an afternoon flight to Suva (usually via Nadi) for a three nights stay at Fiji’s capital city.
Days 8-9: During our time on Viti Levu we will explore the montane forests of the central massif, which is the best birding area on the island. A number of Fiji’s most-wanted birds are present here, including Golden Fruit Dove, Black-throated Shrikebill and Giant Honeyeater. We will also spend time searching for other Fiji endemics such as Fiji Goshawk, Fiji Woodswallow, Barking Imperial Pigeon, Collared Lory, Masked Shining Parrot, Kikau, Sulphur-breasted Myzomela, Fiji Wattled Honeyeater, Slaty Monarch, Chestnut-throated Flycatcher, Fiji Whistler, Fiji Bush Warbler, Fiji White-eye, and Fiji Parrotfinch. The rare Long-legged Thicketbird was rediscovered in the early 2000s, and we also have a fair chance of seeing this mega skulker. The endangered Pink-billed Parrotfinch has become somewhat pinned-down on Viti Levu recently, and we will definitely try hard to see the species, although luck will have to be on our side. Other widespread birds we are likely to see include Many-coloured Fruit Dove, Pacific Robin, Fiji Shrikebill, Vanikoro Flycatcher, Polynesian Triller and Polynesian Starling.
Day 10: After some final birding on Viti Levu we will fly to Nouméa in New Caledonia where we will stay for five nights in this overseas territory of France.
Days 11-12: Most of our birding time on New Caledonia will be spent in the incredible forest of the Rivière Bleue Reserve. This refuge preserves the best remaining forests in New Caledonia and is home to the incomparable Kagu, which is endemic to New Caledonia. The Kagu is the island’s national bird, but because of deforestation and predation, the species is now seriously endangered, with less than 2000 birds surviving. There are lots of exceptional things about this iconic bird: It looks prehistoric and seems to belong to another age, having evolved in isolation during millions of years; It is a little larger than a chicken and it is flightless, being the only member of the family Rhynochetidae. We will be also searching for two other main targets, namely the giant Crow Honeyeater and the beautiful Horned Parakeet. Other specialities we can see here include White-bellied (or New Caledonian) Goshawk, Goliath (or New Caledonian) Imperial Pigeon, New Caledonian Parakeet, New Caledonian Myzomela, Barred Honeyeater, New Caledonian Friarbird, New Caledonian Cuckooshrike, Striated (or New Caledonian) Starling, New Caledonian Whistler, Green-backed White-eye and Red-throated Parrotfinch.
Day 13: Today we will take an early flight to Ouvéa (Uvea) Island, and return in the afternoon. This remote island hosts the beautiful Ouvea (or Uvea) Parakeet, which should give good views. Seabirds such as Tahiti Petrel and Wedge-tailed Shearwater are also possible.
Day 14: Today we will take a short flight over to the island of Lifou, the largest of the Loyalty Islands. Here we will search for the very common Small Lifou (or Small Lifu) White-eye and the uncommon Large Lifou White-eye. Red-bellied Fruit Dove and Cardinal Myzomela are also possible here. After returning to Nouméa airport we will go to La Foa, where we will stay for two nights.
Day 15: The forests of Farino area will be our destination today. Amongst our targets here are the stunning Cloven-feathered Dove, the shy New Caledonian Thicketbird and the famous tool-using New Caledonian Crow. Other more widespread species such as Rufous Whistler, Southern Shrikebill and South Melanesian Cuckooshrike are also possible.
Day 16: After some final birding in New Caledonia we will drive to Nouméa, where the tour ends this afternoon. NOTE: Please let us know at the time of booking if you would be interested in an extension to Vanuatu, which could be a simple four days for just the easy endemics, or a strenuous seven days for trekking into the mountains to target every endemic! Cost will depend on numbers.
Cost: $ 8500 (TBC)
Deposit: $ 750
Single room supplement: $ 850
Accommodation: The hotels are of a good standard throughout, including some fancy resorts by the beach.
Walking difficulty: The walking effort during our Fiji & New Caledonia tour is mostly easy, but there are a few moderate grade walks.
Tour cost includes: All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, all internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.
Tour cost excludes: Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks and other items of a personal nature.