$3,800 - $6,000
The Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia, the forgotten islands of the South Pacific, are amond the most remarkable wildlife reserves in the world, yet they don't even appear on some maps. Encounter the rugged coastlines and rich biodiversity of Campbell, the Snares, and Auckland Islands. These islands can be numbered among the last unspoiled environments on Earth, they are home to an abundance of plants, seabirds and marine mammals, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Remote, unihabited and on no regular shipping route, access is further restricted to only a few hundred people per yeat. Explore and understand this priceless ecosystem in expert company on an expedition that redefines natural travel history.
Day 1: Bluff, Invercargill
Transfer from an Invercargill central city hotel to the Port of Bluff to embark your vessel, where your Captain and expedition team will be waiting for your arrival. Familiarize yourself on board before setting sail. From the Port of Bluff, set a course direct to Campbell Island. There will be introductions and briefings on board.
Day 2: Snares Island – North East Island
The largest of this group of islands is North East Island, a nature reserve of international importance and home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles put together. A group of islands that have had no introduced mammals, they are a pristine haven for wildlife. Snagged with hidden reefs, learn how the islands got their name. Cruise the jagged coastline by Zodiac allowing you to see some of the features of the island.
From the water, view the unique large tree daisies Olearia lyallii and Brachyglottis stewartiae which dominate much of the island creating a forest canopy and draping the hills. Your cruise should also allow you to encounter some of the birdlife that inhabits these islands, including the endemic Snares Crested Penguin. Also unique to these islands, you may catch glimpses of the Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbird. On the cliffs you will likely see Buller’s Albatross whose Maori name translates as ‘flying wind’ which could be an apt description of The Snares. This species only nests here and at the Solander Islands.
Days 3 - 4: Auckland Islands
Enderby Island is a wildlife rich island that has no equal in the Southern Ocean. Offering a varying landscape where the rata forests are regenerating and there is a resurgence of herbaceous plants, it is one of the most beautiful islands in this group. The island is home to the Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion which breeds on Sandy Bay beach which is where you plan to land. The sea lions are a rare member of the seal family. Enjoy close encounters with the Royal Albatross nested amongst a hummocked sward of Oreobolus pectinatus comb sedge and gentians and there is a good chance that you will see the endemic snipe, shag and Auckland Island Flightless Teal as you explore.
Spend some time with the Yellow-eyed Penguin, the world’s rarest penguin and the fourth largest of the world’s penguins. Unique fields of megaherbs, whose languorous names promise the exotic: the Bulbinella rossii, the regenerating patches of Anisotome latifolia and the vivid red and white gentians make an unforgettable sight. Native birds such as the tui, bellbird and parakeets benefit from the presence of rata trees and can be heard in the forest where we plan to hike to a small glacial lake.
Auckland Island is the largest of the islands in the group. The western coastline has been sculpted into formidable cliffs by the prevailing westerly winds, and to the east, a coast carved by glaciers into some of the most picturesque fiords in the world. Anchorage in Carnley Harbor offers a range of activities, depending on weather and sea conditions, go in search of a Shy Mollymawk Albatross colony and perhaps spot the beautiful Wandering Albatross spreading its huge wingspan above the cliffs.
Days 5 - 6: Campbell Island
Explore the island by foot and take in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks, once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Campbell Island is known for its megaherbs – herbaceous, perennial wild flowers characterized by their great size, with huge leaves and very colorful flowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands. Your visit should coincide with the flowering of the Pleurophyllum speciosum, an endemic daisy carpeting the hills and startling in size with leaves sometimes half a meter wide. Adapting unusually to survive the harsh climate, its nearest relatives can be found in the Canary Islands.
A range of walks offered; explore an abandoned Meteorological Station at the head of the harbor or take the Col Lyall Saddle walk which offers an opportunity to view and photograph the Southern Royal Albatross nesting amongst the flowers and tussocks. Alternatively, walk to remote North West Bay across the tussock tops and megaherb fields to a sandy beach that New Zealand Sea Lions and Yellow-eyed Penguins call home. Or the beautifully-named Mt. Honey can be climbed with dramatic views from its summit.
Day 7: At Sea
On arrival at the Port of Bluff on the last day of the expedition there will be breakfast on board the ship after which you will provide transport to Invercargill or Dunedin city or airport.
Day 8: Invercargill / Disembark
On arrival at Port Chalmers on the last day of the expedition there will be breakfast on board the ship after which you will provide transport to the airport.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and sea conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this program, all passengers must purchase full medical and emergency evacuation insurance for the specific areas they will be visiting. The minimum coverage requirement is $100,000 for this program. The policy provider, policy number and contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Cabin accommodations; all onboard lectures and access to public areas; all meals on board the ship; shore excursions as described; accommodation based on twin share occupancy (single supplement applies for guaranteed single); group transfers to embark the ship and transfer from the ship to city hotels and/or airport on disembarkation.
Airfare to and from your home to the port of departure and port of arrival; items of a personal nature such as insurance and excess baggage charges; passport, visa and vaccination fees; onboard the ship: beverages, laundry, ship to shore communications, medical supplies, souvenirs; landing fees ($300 per person); fuel surcharge may apply.
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