Join us for an exciting journey towards the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia. By combining the South Island’s Fiordland with the Sub-antarctic Islands, there is the chance to possibly see ten different species of penguins on this voyage as well as a variety of albatrosses and mollymawks. Apart from endemic birds the plant life on these islands is quite fascinating and it will become obvious why most of these islands have UNESCO World Heritage status.
Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
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.
Fiordland, New Zealand –
We will explore Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Site that includes among others Milford and Doubtful Sounds. The breath-taking views of Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Māori) and the majestic carved peaks and dramatic waterfalls are awe-inspiring as one marvels at Mitre Peak’s striking figure. Using Zodiacs and the ship to explore, the Captain and Expedition Leader will work together to create the perfect schedule for the visit in Fiordland National Park and to see the resident pod of dolphins, penguins and seals.
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.
Campbell Island, New Zealand –
We will 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.
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 that nest on the plateau. 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.
The Snares, New Zealand –
The Snares is a small island group approximately 200 kilometers south of New Zealand's South Island and covers a total of approximately 3.5 square kilometers. Unlike other Sub-Antarctic islands that were greatly affected by the whaling and sealing industry in the nineteenth century, The Snares remains one of the last near pristine areas in New Zealand. Depending on sea and weather conditions we intend to use the fleet of Zodiacs on board the Silver Explorer to go in search of the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, listening for Tuis and bellbirds and looking for New Zealand fur seals.
- Learn about the various conservation projects going on to help the UNESCO World Heritage sites visited.
Wildlife Watch List:
- Penguins: Snares Crested, Erect-crested, Fiordland, Little Blue, Yellow-eyed, Rockhopper, King, Royal and Gentoo Penguins
- Humpback whales, Minke whales, sei whales, fin whales, pilot whales, orcas
- New Zealand sea lions
- Birds of note: Wandering, Black-browed, Royal, Grey-headed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Campbell Island Shag, Campbell Teal, New Zealand Bellbirds, Red-crowned Parakeets, Red-billed Gull
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 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: