Melanesia birdwatching vacation
Description of Melanesia birdwatching vacation
This journey across the southwestern Pacific Ocean involves many incredible encounters – from rare birds to colourful cultures, exotic marine life to recent and ancient history, and deserted islands ringed with white sand beaches.
This Melanesia bird watching vacation started out as the classic WPO (West Pacific Odyssey) itinerary which takes in some of the world’s rarest pelagic bird species. Since then, it has grown into a far more varied voyage, taking a number of new locations with broader appeal. Journeying from the temperate waters of New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, we’ll witness the shift in flora and fauna as the climate gradually changes as we approach the tropical region of Papua New Guinea. Many pristine landscapes remain in this remote part of the world – while others still beat the unmistakable scars of WWII battles. Along the way, we’ll meet the people who live on these gorgeous islands.
The days spent at sea are thrilling for birders, as you can patrol the decks accompanied by experienced birding guides who will point out rare species and share their knowledge during the cruise. You can also just relax on deck, and soak up the sunshine and seascapes with a good book. There’s plenty of time to disembark too, however, as you join the dots between the scattered islands, heading north, and stopping off to meet villagers, learn about island life and cultural traditions such as the vibrant dances. Bring your camera as we walk through a tropical forest, past beautiful exotic flowers and native birds, then cool off with a snorkel over a coral reef in the turquoise ocean. This Melanesia bird watching vacation really has something to offer for everyone.
- South Pacific islands including Norfolk, New Caledonia, Solmon and Papua New Guinea
- Opportunities to spot rare birds, including many pelagic species, as well as marine life
- Meet islanders and learn more about their culture
- Swim and snorkel over reefs, and spend time on deserted beaches
- Walk through lush forests, including early morning birding walks
- Look out for the kagu, rare Heinroth’s shearwater and Beck’s petrel
- Discover the history and impact of WWII on the islands and people
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PlanetDuring our long involvement in visiting remote islands (over 35 years) we have been instrumental in developing responsible visitor guidelines, and we are aware of the need to travel with minimal impact on the natural environment, and educate and support our passengers to follow our lead, and respect the needs of different ecosystems.
Many issues confront animals and their habitats, the world's oceans and isolated ethnic groups. We share unique, pristine, and wild place with you, as well as taking action. We aim to provide eco-education for our passengers whilst onboard through on-board lectures and information throughout voyages.
All waste generated on our expeditions is disposed of in a responsible manner. The vessel complies with MARPOL where possible and allowable we practice recycling, otherwise all non-recyclable waste is brought back for disposal at approved sites.
Our goal in managing our vessel is to minimise fuel consumption and emissions with regular servicing and a proactive maintenance programme. We annually clean and antifoul our vessel's hull to reduce the risk of biofouling. When selecting our specialist expedition equipment, we research this carefully to ensure that they are the most suitable and environmentally responsible.
Group sizes are kept small to minimize impact and enhance visitor experience.
PeopleDuring our Pacific voyages we visit local historic sites, Wildlife Management Areas, and use local guides, such as wildlife and dive guides, wherever possible to support the local knowledge-base and economy. We allow time for passengers to explore local markets, and waterfront stores and open-air markets ensures shopkeepers and local craftspeople are encouraged to sustain their craft and traditions, as well as create a money flow into the community. We provide opportunities for passengers to meet with villagers and learn about their unique culture and life in remote areas, and encourage respect of local customs and traditions. Where required and able we aim to use local resources and services.
In March 2016, we operated a conservation voyage in partnership with Forest & Bird to the Kermadec Islands where a portion of the voyage's profits go towards Forest & Bird's valuable conservation work. We have also operated a "Cruise for Conservation" to the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands and 5% of the fare is given to a specific conservation cause. The following agencies have benefited: Save the Albatross, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and Marine Mammal Research Trust. We have also raised money for the Last Ocean Charitable Trust.
Money is raised from the sale of photographs, books and DVD’s onboard to support the reforestation of an area of native New Zealand forest purchased by the company. The company employs a part-time Conservation Officer.
We partner with Enderby Trust to provide Scholarships for young people, who could not otherwise afford to travel, to join their expeditions. We also have active membership in a number of conservation and travel organizations, including IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators).
We have taken a proactive role in research, funding and publishing books on these islands. To date the company has published two books, “Straight through from London” a history of the Bounty and Antipodes Islands; and the “Galapagos of the Antarctic – Wild Islands south of New Zealand”.
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