Join us for an exciting journey towards East Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia. This voyage will permit us access to some of the most rarely visited places of the subantarctic islands and East Antarctica. Combining a visit to islands that hold special endemic plant and bird life (most of them UNESCO World Heritage sites) with a visit to pioneering sites of the Antarctic history of exploration and science you will gain an insight that few can claim to have.
Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Enderby Island and Auckland Island, New Zealand –
Enderby Island and Auckland Island are composed of eroding volcanic remains. Under New Zealand’s ecological management, which included the removal of all introduced mammals, the rata forests are regenerating and herbaceous plants are resurging. Enderby Island is home to the rare Yellow-eyed Penguin, New Zealand Bellbirds and Red-crowned Parakeets, as well as Southern Royal Albatross. Auckland Island has an abundance and diversity of seabirds, including Gibson’s Albatross and White-capped Mollymawks. It is also the primary breeding ground for the most rare and endangered sea lions in the world, the New Zealand (Hooker) sea lion, and the breeding ground for 30% of the world’s population of the Yellow-eyed Penguin.
Macquarie Island, Australia –
Macquarie Island is known as Australia’s Sub-Antarctic jewel and is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of elephant, leopard and fur seals and millions of penguins. The island has been designated a World Heritage site. Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, which usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year. Weather and tides will play heavily on the decisions made by the Captain and Expedition Leader to make the most of the two days visiting the island. Macquarie holds a King Penguin colony of more than 200,000 pairs, as well as colonies of Rockhopper, Royal and Gentoo Penguins. In addition one might see some of the 72 species of birds including the Wandering, Black-browed, Grey-headed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross.
Commonwealth Bay and East Antarctica –
In 1912 Douglas Mawson established the headquarters of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) in Commonwealth Bay. Known now as one of the windiest regions in the world –Mawson’s book and Hurley’s film “Home of the Blizzard” aptly describe the situation- the winds and weather have taken their toll on the wooden buildings of the Cape Denison party. Adelie Penguins, South Polar Skuas, Snow Petrels and Wilson’s Storm Petrels use the shoreline, cliffs and valleys of the four rocky ridges at Cape Denison. The largest of the valleys has the four huts erected by Mawson’s expedition. Based on weather and ice conditions the coastline will be explored by ship and Zodiacs. Almost adjacent to Commonwealth Bay is Adelie Land, claimed by France. The year-round Dumont D’Urville station further west has up to 100 staff and scientists working there. Conditions and permits pending a visit will be attempted.
Campbell Island, New Zealand –
We intend to use our Zodiacs to land on Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost sovereign territory some 700 kilometers southeast of South Island. High and rugged in the south (up to 1,867 feet), it slopes off more gently to the north where smoothed ridges and open valleys suggest considerable recent glaciation. Farmed since 1894, Campbell Island was used for sealing and whaling, wartime coastal defense, and meteorological observation. Becoming a nature reserve in 1954, it is now an uninhabited and World Heritage site administered by the Department of Conservation.
Stewart Island and Ulva Island, New Zealand –
To gain an insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community one can explore Oban and the surrounding bays at one’s own pace. Neighbouring Ulva Island is a world renowned open bird sanctuary looked after by the Department of Conservation. Small groups of not more than 12 guests will be led by professional local guides to ensure a maximum experience of natural history. As Ulva has no invasive species, the walk through the natural forest will be a wonderful opportunity to see the endemic plants and birdlife.
- See Mawson’s base at Cape Denison and learn about the scientific work going on at Dumont D’Urville.
Wildlife Watch List:
- Penguins (Yellow-eyed, Rockhopper, and Adelie, Royal, King and Gentoo Penguins)
- New Zealand sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, Southern elephant seals
- Whales (Southern right whales, humpback whales, Minke whales, sei whales, fin whales, orcas)
- Birds of note: New Zealand Bellbirds, Red-crowned Parakeets, Auckland and Campbell Shags, South Polar Skuas, Snow Petrels
- Seabirds: Wandering, Black-browed, Grey-headed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Southern Royal Albatross, Gibson’s Albatross and White-capped Mollymawks, Sooty Shearwaters, Wilson’s Storm Petrels
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials: