Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand
The Snares, Bounty, Antipodes, Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie Islands occupy
the stormy latitudes of the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties, known also
as the Albatross Latitudes.
The region hosts the most diverse collection of seabirds in the world.
More than 40 seabird species – at least 11 percent of all the worlds’ seabirds –
breed in the Sub Antarctic region, and over 120 species have been observed at
the islands or in the surrounding ocean. Ten of the world’s albatross species-
some 40 percent- breed in the region, five of them nowhere else.
Among the world-wide family of petrels, shearwaters, fulmars and prions, 21
species or 30 percent breed on the Sub Antarctic Islands. Penguins too, are
special in the Sub Antarctic region. Of seven penguin species breeding here,
three (Snares crested, Erect crested and Royal) are endemic to the region.
The land birds indicate, through their diversity, just how long these islands
have been isolated. No fewer than 15 species are Sub Antarctic endemics.
Our “Birding Downunder” expedition which
has been voted “the best ever pelagic birding expedition” includes all of these
islands as well as the Chatham Archipelago which lies just north of the Sub
Antarctic region and is renown for its high degree of endemism.
Expedition includes plenty of time ashore and zodiac cruising with experienced
local “birders” to see and photograph the many island endemics.
Landings at the Sub Antarctic Islands are by permit only as administered by the
governments of New Zealand and Australia.
No landings are permitted at Snares, Antipodes and Bounty Islands and South East
in the Chatham Islands group.
Arrive at the city of Invercargill, New Zealand's southernmost city.
Established by Scottish settlers with its wealth in the rich farmland –
sheep and dairy farms predominate. On arrival please make your own
arrangements to transfer to the Kelvin Hotel in the central city. A
detailed programme will be available to you when you check in at
reception. Dinner is at the hotel which is an opportunity to meet
Breakfast at your leisure in the dining room at the hotel. Your
programme will advise a time for bags out and then we will be
transferred to the Southland Museum to view the special Subantarctic
display in the Museum before being transferred by coach to the Port of
Bluff (27 km south of Invercargill) to board the Spirit of Enderby.
Depart for the Snares Islands.
The Snares is the first of the Subantarctic Islands we will be
visiting. It is an amazing island - more birds nest on this small
island than there are seabirds around the entire British Isles. We will
arrive early morning, landings are not permitted so we zodiac cruise the
sheltered eastern side.
Cruising in the sheltered bays we should see the endemic Snares crested
penguins, tomtits and fernbirds. Cape pigeons, Antarctic terns,
white-fronted terns and red-billed gulls are around the coastline. There
is an estimated six million sooty shearwaters nesting on the Snares
Islands. Buller’s albatross breed here from early January onwards.
We arrive at Enderby Island, a great island to view birds and wildlife
in the Auckland Island group. Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, the main
breeding ground for the New Zealand (Hooker’s) sea lion. We’ll also be
able to observe the following species:- Southern royal albatross,
Northern giant petrel, Auckland Island shag, Auckland Island teal,
Auckland Island banded dotterel, Auckland Island tomtit, bellbird,
pipit, red crowned parakeet, yellow- eyed penguin and light-mantled
sooty albatross. We will spend some time searching for the Subantarctic
snipe which we have a very good chance of seeing. Other more common
species we will see include goldfinch, song thrush, blackbird, European
starling, red-bill gull, redpoll. On Derrycastle Reef there is a good
chance to see bar-tailed godwit, turnstone and perhaps other migratory
This morning we will cruise to Carnley Harbour in the south of the main
Auckland Islands. There will be an opportunity for the energetic
participants to climb to the Southwest Cape shy albatross colony.
Gibson’s wandering albatross nest above the colony amongst the tussock,
we should get good views of these birds as they will be nesting at this
time. Those remaining on board will have an opportunity to zodiac
cruise along the coastal forest with a chance to see New Zealand falcon
and enjoy close encounters with other bush birds. We depart the Auckland
Islands in the mid afternoon and head south west to Macquarie Island.
At sea we will have a series of lectures supported by videos of the
biology and history of the Subantarctic Islands and the Southern Ocean.
The Subantarctic Convergence Zone is traditionally very close to the
area we are sailing through so we should expect the birdlife to reflect
this as we get closer to Macquarie Island. We will be at sea all day,
another opportunity to see pelagic species, including wandering
albatross species, royal albatross, shy and white-capped albatross,
light-mantled sooty albatross, grey headed albatross, black browed
albatross, white-chinned petrel, mottled petrel, white- headed petrel,
cape petrel, diving petrel, grey backed and black bellied storm petrel.
Days 7 & 8
Arrive at Macquarie Island which is the only place to see the royal
penguin and there is an abundance of these. King penguins are also
found in large numbers. Two other penguin species breed on Macquarie
Island - the gentoo and the rockhopper. Along the coast we will see the
imperial (Macquarie) shag. Redpolls can be seen as can the European
starling along the cliff edges. We plan landings at both the ANARE base
and at Sandy Bay. We will also zodiac cruise Lusitania Bay, where there
is a huge king penguin colony. We continue our exploration of
Macquarie Island and then depart for Campbell Island on the afternoon of
our second day.
At sea en-route to Campbell Island, we will see a similar range of
species as we saw en-route to Macquarie Island from the Auckland
Arriving early in the morning we will spend the day exploring the island
by foot from Perseverance Harbour. Campbell Island is a magnificent
island. Rats have recently been successfully removed with encouraging
increases in small bird numbers being observed, most notably the
pipit. There is some great birding and photographic opportunities on
this island especially southern royal albatross and the early flowering
mega herbs. During the day ashore we should see the Southern royal
albatross, Light-mantled sooty albatross, Northern giant petrel,
Campbell Island shag, Southern skua, Red billed gull, black backed gull,
Antarctic tern, redpoll, dunnock and the New Zealand pipit. The
regeneration of the megaherbs since the removal of the sheep in the
1970's and ‘80's is a spectacle to behold.
At sea en-route to the Antipodes. It is a day for pelagic birding.
Species commonly seen in this area include wandering albatross species,
Southern royal albatross, black-browed albatross, Campbell Island
albatross, light-mantled sooty albatross, Salvins albatross,
grey-headed albatross, Northern and Southern giant petrel, sooty
shearwater, little shearwater. This region of the Southern Ocean is one
of the few places where the fairy prion, fulmar prion and Antarctic
prion occur together providing a good opportunity for comparison. Other
species to be on the look out for include soft-plumaged petrel, mottled
petrel, white-headed petrel, grey-faced petrel, white chinned petrel,
grey backed storm petrel, Wilson’s storm petrel, black-bellied storm
petrel and common diving petrel.
Antipodes Island is one of the most isolated, least known and rugged of
New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands. Landings are not permitted, so we
plan to zodiac cruise along the coastline where we have a good chance of
seeing the Antipodes Island and Reischek’s Parakeet which is a strong
subspecies. We will also see the Antipodes subspecies of the NZ pipit.
We enjoy good views of both erect crested and rockhopper penguins
breeding on the coastline. There are usually a good number of Antarctic
terns and kelp gulls.
We arrive at the Bounty Islands, inhospitable granite knobs lashed by
the southern ocean, early morning to zodiac cruise. Erect crested
penguin, fulmar prions and the endemic Bounty Island shag will feature
on our bird lists for this morning. After the zodiac cruise we depart
for the Chatham Islands. This afternoon we should see wandering
albatross species, Northern royal albatross, white capped albatross,
Salvin’s albatross Northern giant petrel, cape petrel, Antarctic fulmar,
mottled petrel, soft plumaged petrel, broad billed prion, fulmar prion,
white chinned petrel, sooty shearwater, little shearwater, grey backed,
black bellied petrel and Wilson’s storm petrel. There is a possibility
we could see the Chatham Island petrel and we will be keeping a close
watch for the magenta petrel.
This morning we continue toward the Chatham Archipelago with excellent
opportunities for pelagic birding. We will be especially interested in
looking out for the Chatham Island petrel (it has been seen on this leg
of the voyage before) and also the very rare Chatham Island taiko or
magenta petrel (which has also been seen on this part of the voyage
before) This afternoon we will arrive at the spectacular Pyramid Rock -
which is the only breeding place of the Chatham Island albatross.
At South East Island (Rangatira), one of the world’s greatest nature
reserves we will zodiac cruise (landings are not permitted) and should
obtain good views of the very rare shore plover and the Chatham Island
oystercatcher. We should also see the Pitt Island shag, tui, tomtit and
red crowned parakeet. This afternoon we will cruise past Mangere and
Little Mangere Island from where the endemic black robin was rescued in
the 1970’s when the total population was only six birds. We will relate
the story of how the black robin was rescued. This evening we sail
across Pitt Strait to the main Chatham Islands and pass the Tuku Valley
where the magenta petrel breeds.
Today we will land at Waitangi the main settlement on the Chatham
Islands. Near the landing we should see the endemic Chatham Island
Shag. Local buses and Landrovers will transport us down the South
Coast to the Tuku Reserve. Here on private land, and guided by the local
people we will enjoy a bush walk in the hope of seeing the Chatham
Island Warbler and Chatham Island Pigeon. Much of the main Chatham
Islands has been developed for farming, many introduced European birds
can be seen in this area. We return to the Spirit of Enderby early
afternoon and depart for Dunedin.
Days 17 & 18
En-route to Dunedin we will cross what is known as the Chatham Rise. It
is a relatively shallow area of water, compared with the rest of the
surrounding ocean, it is also one of the best places for pelagic
watching with an overlap of both northern or more temperate species and
those birds from southern latitudes. We can expect to see wandering
albatross species, royal albatross species, black-browed albatross,
white-capped albatross, Salvin’s albatross, northern giant petrel, cape
petrel, Westland black petrel, white chinned petrel, great-winged
petrel, Cook’s petrel, flesh footed shearwater, Buller’s shearwater,
Sooty shearwater, little shearwater, fairy prion, broad-billed prion,
grey-backed storm petrel, white-faced storm petrel, diving Petrel.
There could well be other species so it is a good time to be out on
We will arrive in the Inner Harbour at the Port of Otago, Dunedin. After
completing formalities with Customs and Agriculture passengers will be
able to disembark. There will be a central city and airport drop off.
Landings at the Sub Antarctic Islands are by permit only as administered
by the governments of New Zealand and Australia. No landings are
permitted at Snares, Antipodes and Bounty Islands and South East in the
Chatham Is. group.
be encountered during our voyage which will make it necessary or
desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary.
circumstances include poor weather and opportunities for making
unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully
informed during the voyage.
Voyage # 2560 9 November 2008 - 27 November 2008
$11,096.00 USD pp
Heritage Suite: has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double
bed, a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers,
fridge. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.
There are large forward and side facing windows with great views.
Shared: $11,096.00 USD pp
Sole Occupancy: $22,192.00 USD pp
$10,426.00 USD pp
Mini Suite: has a small bedroom with a 3/4 bed and a single bed in the
lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower.
toilet and washbasin. This suite has windows.
Shared: $10,426.00 USD pp
Sole Occupancy: $20,852.00 USD pp
$9,974.00 USD pp
Superior Plus cabins: Cabins have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a
private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have
Shared: $9,974.00 USD pp
Sole Occupancy: $17,953.20 USD pp
$9,151.00 USD pp
Superior cabins: Cabins have one bunk (an upper and lower – two),
wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and
washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Shared: $9,151.00 USD pp
Sole Occupancy: $16,471.80 USD pp
$7,750.00 USD pp
Main deck cabins: Cabins have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a
desk, washbasin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other
Main deck cabins.
Shared: $7,750.00 USD pp
Sole Occupancy: $13,950.00 USD pp
Main Deck Triple
$6,338.00 USD pp
Main deck triple cabin: This cabin has one bunk (one upper and one
lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and washbasin. The
nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.
Capacity: 3 Shared:
$6,338.00 USD pp
Government Landing Fees $350.00 USD pp
may be encountered during our voyage which will make it necessary or
desirable to deviate from this itinerary. These circumstances include
poor weather conditions and opportunities for making unplanned zodiac
excursions. Your Expedition leader will provide more information at the
start of the voyage and keep you fully informed during the voyage.
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