New Caledonia
18 to 25 August 2018

Australian Ornithological Services Pty Ltd




Pre-tour day
Saturday 18 August 2018
Arrive Noumea,
Overnight: Noumea 

Day 1
Sunday 19 August 2018
Monts Koghi
This morning we'll venture up Monts Koghi in the foothills of Noumea. Good birds to watch for here are the gigantic Notou, the New Caledonian imperial-pigeon, reputedly the largest arboreal pigeon in the world and without question a goliath as its Latin name denotes, as well as New Caledonian goshawk, New Caledonian whistler, New Caledonian flycatcher, New Caledonian myzomela, southern shrikebill and horned parakeet. We will also visit a small freshwater wetland and nearby mudflats.
Overnight: Noumea

Day 2                                    
Monday 20 August 2018
Depart Magenta Airport for Lifou Island
This morning we'll fly to Lifou Island. Lifou, which retains much of its natural rainforest, has two endemics – the large and small Lifou white-eyes. The latter is quite common but the large Lifou white-eye presents more of a challenge. Other good birds on Lifou are blue-faced parrot-finch, fan-tailed gerygone, long-tailed triller, cardinal myzomela and red-bellied fruit-dove. There is also a good chance for Pacific imperial pigeon. We spend most of the day exploring the island, returning to Noumea in the evening. Flight departing Lifou mid afternoon.
Overnight: Noumea

Day 3                        
Tuesday 21 August 2018
Riviere Bleue is our destination this morning where we should see the pièce de résistance of the New Caledonian birds - the enigmatic kagu, New Caledonia's powder-grey, avian national emblem. This reserve of 9000 hectares contains a good population of kagu as well as most of the other endemics or near-endemics to be found on New Caledonia. The rangers at Riviere Bleue have been instrumental in the much-improved status of kagu. We will meet a staff member at around 0700 hours. Along with the kagu there are two other must-see species in the park. These are the very difficult crow honeyeater — one of the largest honeyeaters in the world, resembling a giant, black regent honeyeater; plus the unusual New Caledonian cuckoo-shrike. These two species are near impossible anywhere else in New Caledonia.  The park is also the stronghold for the Notua, which, even today, is hunted elsewhere in New Caledonia. Other species in Parc Riviere Bleue include horned parakeet, New Caledonian parakeet, New Caledonian friarbird, barred honeyeater, streaked fantail, yellow-bellied robin and the distinctive New Caledonian whistler. Parc Riviere Bleue also contains much of the indigenous flora of New Caledonia, which includes ancient rainforest trees such as giant kauri and a couple of rare parasitic plants. The park also contains large areas of heathland where we'll see plants familiar to Australians, such as acacias and melaleucas. There is a spectacular pink-flowered grevillea, a favourite of barred honeyeaters, and a stunning red-flowered creeping mistletoe, among copious other botanical highlights. After a long day in the field, we'll travel back to Noumea.
Overnight: Noumea

Crow honeyeater P Maher 16 August 2016

Day 4
Wednesday 22 August 2018
Ouvéa Island, depart Magenta airport
We fly to Ouvéa Island, also in the Loyalty Group, to see the island's only endemic, the rare Ouvéa Parakeet. We will be collected at Ouvéa airport by our guide Rohan. Ouvéa Parakeet has been split from the horned parakeet of Grand Terre and is quite distinctive. Other species on the island include golden whistler (distinctive form) and red-bellied fruit-dove, fantail cuckoo, shining bronze-cuckoo and striated starling. We fly back to Grand Terre early evening
Overnight: Noumea 

Ouvea parakeet
P Maher
18 August 2016

Day 5
Thursday 23 August 2018
We may visit Parc Riviere Bleue again should we need to; otherwise we’ll go directly to Farina, en route checking in to our bungalows at nearby La Foa, We'll venture up to the forests near Farina for some of the best birding to be had in New Caledonia. The ancient forests in this area should also give us good sightings of many of the endemic or near endemics such as New Caledonian goshawk, New Caledonian parakeet, horned parakeet, New Caledonian whistler, long-tailed triller, Melanesian cuckoo-shrike, striated starling, barred honeyeater and New Caledonian myzomela. Non-endemics we should see in the area include buff-banded rail, emerald dove, white-breasted woodswallow (much darker on the back than ours), grey fantail, rufous whistler and swamp harrier. However, the raison d'être for visiting this area is the shy, and frustratingly difficult New Caledonian grassbird.  Less timid is the brilliant red-throated parrot-finch, the cloven-feathered dove and the massive metallic pigeon. New Caledonian crow is quite common here – this is one of the few species in the world that uses tools — in this case, a stick to extract grubs from wood.
Overnight: La Foa  

Day 6
Friday 24 August 2018
We'll spend most of today in the Farina area for another chance at, and better views of, the endemics including the troublesome New Caledonian grassbird. We return to Noumea in the late afternoon.
Overnight: Noumea 

Day 7
Saturday, 25 August 2018
The tour finishes after breakfast. Participants leaving New Caledonia will be transferred to Tontouta International Airport.  

Guide: Philip Maher
Tour organiser: Patricia Maher

Information: The tour starts at 0630 hrs, Sunday 19 August and finishes after breakfast on Saturday 25 Augus 2017. Participants should arrive on or before 18 August.

Cost: $5,805.00 AUD per person.

Single supplement: maximum $650.00 AUD.  

Deposit: $650 AUD ($200 initially and the other $450 when Lifou and Ouvea Islands August 2018 online bookings are available, sometime in January 2018). Balance 18 June 2018.

The cost includes accommodation from 18 August to 24 August (inclusive), meals from breakfast 19 August to breakfast 25 August. Also flights to Lifou and Ouvea Islands, park entrance fees, land transport while on tour and guiding. Hotel transfers from and to Tontouta International Airport are included.

Not included are international airfares, mini bar charges, phone calls, laundry etc.  

Group size: maximum 8, minimum 4 participants. Please register your interest as soon as possible.

checklist from the 2016 New Caledonian tour