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 fellow expeditioners.
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 waders.
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
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 Islands.
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
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
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
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 deck.
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.
Circumstances may be encountered during our voyage which will
make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed
itinerary. These circumstances include poor weather and opportunities
for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will
keep you fully informed during the voyage.