Join us for an exciting journey from the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia to Tasmania and beyond. By combining the Sub-antarctic Islands with Tasmania and Phillip Island, there is the chance to see various different species of penguins, albatrosses and mollymawks and even be present when the Little Penguins come back ashore on Phillip Island in the evening. 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. When in Tasmania, the convict history will also be present.
Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Ulva Island, New Zealand –
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia –
As Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart is Australia’s second oldest capital city. At the entrance of the Derwent River and surrounded by well-preserved bushlands, Hobart’s interesting mix of elegant heritage sandstone buildings and modern architecture seems to hide the early convict history. During our stay we can see Salamanca Market, reputed to be Australia’s best outdoor market.
Maria Island, Australia –
We will explore Darlington Probation Station, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few areas where the bushland has been left unchanged since the convict times. It is the most intact of the probation stations in Australia. As Australia’s only island National Park, Maria Island is also one of Tasmania's best places to go bird-watching. Eleven of the state's twelve endemic species can be seen on Maria Island, including the endangered Forty-spotted Pardalote and the rare and unique Cape Barren Goose. Other special animals include wombats, as well as pademelons, Forester kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies and the nocturnal Tasmanian devils.
Flinders Island, Australia –
As the largest of the Furneaux Group, Flinders Island is an island of surprising beauty. A strenuous 5-hour walk to the top of Strzelecki Peak, Flinders Island’s highest peak of spectacular Devonian granite, will permit amazing views –even of mainland Tasmania in good conditions. Wandering Albatross, Pacific Gulls, raptors, wedgetails, sea eagles, and Cape Barren Geese, as well as millions of shearwaters can be found on Flinders Island.
Phillip Island, Australia –
There are several excellent bird-watching locations on Phillip Island and bird-watchers will be delighted to see two evening events along Phillip Island’s spectacular coast: at Summerland Bay one to see the world’s smallest penguin in its natural habitat from viewing stands and boardwalks. As the sun is setting, Little Penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes. One can also look for Short-tailed Shearwaters as they return each evening from the sea.
- Learn about the various conservation projects going on to help the UNESCO World Heritage sites visited.
- See historic sites and areas related to Australia’s convict times.
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, Short-tailed Shearwater.
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.
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