Hawai'i Birding Tour 2021

We still have this tour available, if we are allowed to travel. Please let me know of your expression of interest and we will keep you updated.

10 Day Hawai'i Birding Tour 
6 - 17 April 2021

I think you will agree that Hawaii is on everyone’s list of travel destinations and it certainly has massive appeal. The culture, history, cuisine, beaches all conjure up images of adventure within a stark and rugged landscape. We have all seen movies, Tv shows and documentaries about Hawaii and longed to be there. 

This tour is designed for the Birding and Wildlife adventure enthusiast, who likes some comfort, wine and good food after a long day exploring the rare forests, mountains and beaches of Hawaii. 

Tropical Treks has designed this trip of a lifetime with our birding friends in Hawaii.

So, join me (Steve Grainger) on this special journey, you will be talking about forever. Wowing your friends of fabulous tales, tall and true of the Hawaiian Islands, meeting friendly locals, and observing some of the most extraordinary birds on the Planet. Just learning the names will be challenging enough.



Cancellation Poicy


International Tours: 
All cancellations must be made in writing and signed by the person(s) who signed the booking form and submitted to Tropical Treks. Refunds are only possible before the following deadlines.
Deposit is not refundable, for any reason 1 to 160 days from departure. 
Final balance is not refundable, for any reason 1 to 90 days from departure
Refunds will exclude any expenses paid to ground agents, flights on itinerary, meals and accommodation, tour guides and any other expenses relevant to the particular tour. 
Further cancellation information:
Tropical Treks reserves the right to cancel any trip due to weather or other unsuitable conditions. In such a case a refund (minus any non-refundable deposits we have made to ground agents or accommodation) of the tour price paid to date will be made to the participant. 

We reinforce the need for Travel Insurance to cover cancellations, epidemics, pandemics


Hawaii Airport Transfers

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Roberts Hawaii and Speedi Shuttle offer transfers from Honolulu airport to Waikiki hotels (where tour begins) and from Kona hotels (where tour ends) to Kona airport. Cab services for 2 or more people in one group might be less than shuttle rates. 
Steve will have your flight details and arrange the transfer for you. 
www.speedishuttle.com (Honolulu and Kona)
www.robertshawaii.com/airport-shuttle/  (Honolulu and Kona)
charleystaxi.com (Honolulu)


Itinerary Detail

Day 1, Wednesday 7th April: Arrival Day in Honolulu, Oahu
Upon arrival in Honolulu (HNL), take a shuttle, or cab, to the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel in Waikiki, where we have already reserved a room in your name. We will gather in the lobby at 6pm to meet new friends before our welcome dinner together.
Night at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu

Day 2, Thursday 8th April: Birding Oahu
This morning we start our day in Kapiolani Park, next to our hotel, to admire visiting Pacific Golden Plovers and Honolulu’s city bird, the beautiful White Tern. While exploring the park we are sure to encounter a myriad of introduced species among the banyan and rainbow shower trees, such as Common Myna, Red-crested Cardinal, Red-vented Bulbul, Yellow-fronted Canary, Java Sparrow, Common Waxbill, Spotted Dove, Zebra Dove, and Rose-ringed Parakeet. After breakfast we will leave the city behind and enter the rainforests of the Koolau Mountains in pursuit of Oahu’s endemic honeycreeper, the Oahu Amakihi, before we transcend down into the valleys to search for the endangered Oahu Elepaio. While on our endemic bird adventure we will most likely encounter White-rumped Shama, a thrush from Asia, noisy flocks of Red-billed Leiothrix, an occasional Red-whiskered Bulbul, and chattering Japanese White-eyes.
Night at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu

Day 3, Friday 9th April: Birding Oahu    
Today we journey up the picturesque windward side to experience the serenity of Oahu's North Shore in search of visiting shorebirds, such as the Wandering Tattler and sought-after Bristle-thighed Curlew. While cruising the coastline, famous for world class surf beaches and secluded coves with basking sea turtles, we are sure to find some flashy finches, such as the Saffron Finch and Chestnut Munia. The North Shore is also home to some of the last family farms on Oahu with crops of coffee, cacao, eggplant, papaya, pineapple, apple banana, and even scattered shrimp farms with Black-crowned Night Heron, the endemic Hawaiian Coot, Common Gallinule (endemic subspecies), and Black-necked Stilt (endemic subspecies). 
Night at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu

Day 4, Saturday 10th April: Flight to Kauai and Birding Kauai
After breakfast we fly to Lihue and discover the beauty of Kauai's North Shore in pursuit of impressive seabirds along Kilauea Lighthouse NWR’s stunning coastline and more endemic water birds amongst Hanalei NWR’s historic loʻi ponds. While scanning the rugged cliffs of Kilauea covered with Red-footed Boobies and surveying the skies for Brown Booby, spectacular Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds, majestic Laysan Albatross, and soaring Great Frigatebirds, we will enjoy up close views of Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene (Hawaiian Goose). We will then explore Hanalei valley’s lush important bird area for more of Hawaii’s endangered water birds: Hawaiian Duck, Hawaiian Coot, Black-necked Stilt (endemic subspecies), and Hawaiian Gallinule (endemic subspecies). 
Night at Garden Island Inn, Lihue

Day 5, Sunday 11th April: Birding Kauai    
We embark on a rainforest adventure with astounding views of Waimea Canyon, the Pacific’s Grand Canyon, on our journey into Kokee State Park to find Kauai’s endemic Kauai Amakihi, Apapane, Anianiau, and Kauai Elepaio with hopes of a glimpse of the rare Akekee and the iconic I’iwi. Other forest birds we should encounter in Kokee State Park include Red Junglefowl, the skulky Japanese Bush Warbler and melodious Hwamei. 
Night at Garden Island Inn, Lihue

Day 6, Monday 12th April: Birding Kauai and Flight to Kona: 
On our last morning on Kauai we will search for the rare Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush and any of Kauai’s specialty species we haven’t already found before our afternoon flight to Kona.
Night at Royal Kona Resort

Day 7, Tuesday 13th April: Birding Big Island    
Experience Hakalau aka Hawaii’s honeycreeper heaven! Hakalau Forest NWR is a publicly restricted cloud forest reserve and is home to many of Hawaii's endangered plants, native arthropods, and endemic birds. We will search for the unique Hawaii Creeper, the gorgeous day glow orange Akepa, the stunning long billed Akiapolaau, the Hawaiian Hawk, Omao (Hawaii island’s endemic thrush) with beautiful I’iwi, Hawaii Amakihi, and Apapane all over the blossoms of ancient ohia trees enshrouding us.
Night at Royal Kona Resort

Day 8, Wednesday 14th April: Birding Big Island
We begin our day on a quest for Hawaii Elepaio and the endangered Palila, the last of the finch-like honeycreepers. On our way to the sub-alpine dry forests of mamanae, sandalwood, and naio we will bird Saddle Road for Short-eared Owl (endemic subspecies), Eurasian Skylark, Chukar, California Quail, Wild Turkey, Erckel’s, Black, and Gray francolins and more. From the high elevations of Pu`u La`au along the slopes of Mauna Kea, we will drive to Waikoloa in search of more introduced species, like Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and African Silverbill, on our way back to Kona.
Night at Royal Kona Resort

Day 9, Thursday 15th April: Pelagic Birding Big Island
We embark on a pelagic birding charter out of Honokohau Harbor with an experienced local captain for Black Noddy, Brown Noddy, Sooty Tern, Brown Booby, White-tailed Tropicbird, Great Frigatebird, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, and Bulwer’s Petrel with hopes of finding: Masked Booby, Hawaiian Petrel, Black-winged Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Juan Fernandez Petrel, White-necked Petrel, Newell’s Shearwater, Christmas Shearwater, Leach’s Storm Petrel, Long-tailed Jaegar, South Polar Skua, incidental cetacean sightings, and more! 
Night at Royal Kona Resort

Day 10, Friday 16th April: Departure Day from Kona, Hawaii
Explore the hotel grounds for Lavender Waxbill, Red-masked Parakeet, and whatever might be hanging around before we depart Hawaii for home from Kona airport (flight return to Birsbane at own expense) after breakfast. 


Important Information

About the Physical Requirements & Pace: To reach the highland forests where the native birds are found and searching for pelagic birds by boat, will require us to start some of our days early, as we’ll want to be near our destinations close to dawn. Other departures will be more leisurely, but we do make sure we are out in the morning when bird activity is highest and the heat and/or chance of rain is lowest. Much of our birding will be easy walking on roads, wide trails, and boats. The Koolau Mountain trails (Oahu) will still be slippery and muddy. The Alakai (Kauai rainforest) is one of the wettest places on Earth with temperatures of 50 -70 degrees F and Hakalau (Big Island) is also a montane rainforest. Even if it’s not raining, it will still be slippery and muddy. Shoes with good grip and ankle support are recommended. Birding along the north shore will be within short walks from the van. Much of the Kauai forest birding is possible from wooden boardwalks (some in poor state). Birding along the north shore of Kauai and Oahu will be within short walks from the van. You should be able to easily get in and out of a van (sometimes repeatedly), and able to walk at least three miles, some of it on slopes where traction may not be the best and where footing is uneven. You should be prepared to bird in hot and humid environments, expect some rain, and realize the highlands can be quite brisk or even cool. Sea conditions on the pelagic trips can range from calm seas to moderately rough, so you must have decent balance and an ability to steady yourself on a moving boat if you plan to take those trips. Those with balance and stability issues should bring a collapsible walking stick with a wrist loop, and those who find it difficult to stand for long periods should bring a small travel stool. 

Tour outline

6th April 2021 - Flight Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne to Honolulu
16th April 2021 – Return flight to Sydney/Brisbane/Melbourne

Inclusions: All meals, Resort Accommodation, Domestic flights, Pelagic tour, Tour Guide, Transport, Airport Transfers. 

Travel Insurance is highly recommended. To cover cancellations and alterations to itinerary. 

Meet Steve Grainger at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu, upon your arrival. Steve’s Mobile 0459996171. Email steve@tropicaltreks.com.au. Or message Steve at TropicalTreks facebook page www.facebook.com/TropicalTreks/

Steve will arrange your Airport Transfers, so keep an eye open for someone holding a card with your name on it. The trip from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, 2863 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States is about 25 minutes. 

COST per person: AUD$8,900 not including international flights and flight from Kona Airport for return journey. 
Single supplement: $1500 
10 places available. 

Tour begins at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu
Tour concludes at Royal Kona Resort on Day 10

Payment Details: Name of the Account: Tropical Treks, BSB 084830 (NAB), Account: 844394257

A 25% deposit is due 160 days prior to departure. Full payment of the tour cost is due 90 days prior to departure. Payment details are outlined on a page on the booking form entitled Payment options. Payments are to be made in Australian Dollars only, unless stated otherwise. Payment may be made by bank transfer. Clients are responsible for any fees incurred at both ends. International bank transfers attract a AU$25 surcharge. Domestic bank transfers are free. 

Brief Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive Honolulu, stay New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu, (D)
Day 2: Birding Oahu, stay New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu (B)(L)(D)
Day 3: Birding Oahu, stay New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu (B)(L)(D)
Day 4: Flight to Kauai - Birding Kauai, stay Garden Island Inn, Lihue (B)(L)(D)
Day 5: Birding Kauai, stay Garden Island Inn, Lihue (B)(L)(D)
Day 6: Flight to Kona (Big Island), stay Royal Kona Resort, (B)(L)(D)
Day 7: Birding the Big Island, stay Royal Kona Resort, (B)(L)(D)
Day 8: Birding the Big Island, stay Royal Kona Resort, (B)(L)(D)
Day 9: Pelagic Birding, stay Royal Kona Resort, (B)(L)(D)
Day 10: Morning birding the Big Island B)


Each night over dinner we review the days sightings using your complimentary Checklist Journal and preview the next days locations and targets.

Hotel Accommodation

Enjoy unparalleled views of the mountains and the ocean at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Garden Isle Inn, and Royal Kona Resort. These beautiful beachfront locations feature guest rooms with complimentary high-speed wireless Internet, in room refrigerators, and private lanais just outside the hustle and bustle of the city. 
www.kaimana.com
www.gardenislandinn.com
www.royalkona.com 

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