Heritage Expeditions Macquarie IslandMacquarie Island Heritage Expeditions
Onboard the expedition leader determines the final route.
Travel to Macquarie Island & Subantarctica
" Our expedition leader, Judd Hill, presented himself in our Dunedin Hotellobby with a radiant grin, a wink and an irrepressible head of corkscrew hairedhairs. She was docked at the shipyard and her dark purple fuselage and top structure were crispy in the sun.
On board we clarified the pass controls (as Macquarie Island is a part of Australia ) before we were offered tee and skanes in the lounge and had the opportunity to visit our comfortable booths. Then we went directly to the life boat exercise and an accident management awareness session about how to evacuate from and to the Zodiac inflatables used for excursions, how to use the life jackets, and the logs for quarantining operations before landings on one of the subantarctic islands.
Oystercatcher, Royal Spoonbill, Otago Shag, White Faced Heron, Little Blue Penguins and Tairoa Heads; Northern Royal Albatross and a settlement of colonies of nesting shag whose nest forms a geometrical design on the slop. On the open seas, Lisle Gwynn, a young gifted young UK bird booker, gave a talk on the Southern Ocean seabird identity and persuaded the public that this was a very demanding deal at best!
A full sunset over New Zealand's South Island that night as the winds and the ocean began to come from the western hemisphere. We were awakened around 4 am when we appeared from the leeward side of Stewart Island / Rakiura and were struck by a 2 meter high wave directly on our rak.
Instead, Captain Dmitri brought us as near as possible to the island to see it from the deck. Oceans must be very prolific when the large number of seabirds has to cope: Snares (Pintado) Petrel, Greyhead, White-headed, Southern Royal, Campbell and Antipodean Albatross fired around the aviator.
Three or four passages in the boat and we head south to the Auckland Isles. At the end of the day we had our first isolation controls where we inspected all the equipment we wanted to take with us to the island, vacuumed it, cleaned it of all seed and had it inspected by an employee.
Our aim was to ensure that we did not bring anything to the island that could spread or cause sickness. Earlier that day Chris Todd gave a talk on the New Zealand (or Hooker) sea lion, followed by Judd with an introductory talk on the Auckland Isles.
We hurried outside with our camera just in the right moment to see a group of porpoises windsurfing in the shock wave next to the boat. At 2am the Spirit of Enderby anchored in Port Ross and provided us with a quiet end to our nycturn. At 09.30 am we were in the Zodiacs on our way to Sandy Bay on Enderby Island:
Most of the Yellow-eyed Penguins went about 75 km in search of food before they came back to the island to give food to their chick. Some of us traversed the island via the promenade and went back to the shore on the same route, the others traversed the island via the promenade and then went around the east two third of the island.
When we were climbing the woods, we soon gave way to the low bush land, then the chick sock and the herbaceous fields, when the island was subjected to more sun. The Auckland Island yolk (similar to its continental counterparts) among the hardy Astelia pillow herbs and Auckland Island pipits that are nourished near us, almost unaware of our present.
These far-away blank spots, which we could see on the slopes, turned out to be a nest for the southern King Albatross, which we soon saw in the bush. Huge storm birds, skua' s and soot albatrosses shot along the cliffs on the island's rugged northern side. Auckland Island's tomtits flew around and ended up on poles or flower tips.
Some perennial Auckland Island Shags were diving directly behind the windsurfing line. Passing a set of Auckland Island Flightless Teal that rests on a bench of sludge with their head hidden under their leaves. Visit a large settlement of Auckland Island Shags, the glowing magta coloured circles around their eye are very pronounced. On the southeastern edge of the island we crossed an "enchanted" Rhina forest: the confrontation of contrasting features that combine to almost dreamlike sensations.
Heading back to the boat we drove along sensational delta-fringed steep escarpments before we returned for a vivid evenings in the pub and a very welcome supper. Location 06:00 51 38 P 164 52 P / 18:00 52 59 P 162 07 P. Yesterday eve Judd agreed to re-write the route for the next leg of our journey, on the basis of a powerful meteorological alert for Macquarie Island for the day we wanted to be there.
As a result, the vessel changed course to head straight for Macquarie Island. Waking up to a nice and sunny day with a good number of southern royal and white-headed albatrosses near the ark. Following breakfasts we conducted isolation check-ups, followed by an instructive lecture on Lisle's exposure photographs, which were accompanied by pictures of wild animals and humans from all over the globe.
Following dinner, we saw a movie about the Macquarie Island insect control programme, which included a helicopter-based air bait programme to get rabbit, rat and mouse out, followed by dog hunt crews to kill the last of the group. This almost Herculean work has led to a dramatic revival of the island's flora and fauna.
Judd then gave an introductory talk to Macquarie Island and sketched out our landing there. At 54° 30 P 158 57 E. We reached Macca at 7 o'clock in the morning, our first show, an Orca capsule that fishes between the boat and the bank between a float of big racers (which we now know as "GP's").
Andrea from the Tasmanian Parks and Gamelife Service, who manages the island, gave us a short introduction on how to deal with wild animals before our 10:00 a.m. trip to Sandy Bay. There we were free to walk along the shore to a large king penguin settlement at one end and a large king penguin settlement at the other end, then up a board walk.
They cleaned themselves up in the crushers before they emerged from the waves and strutted up the shore. There was chaos in the royal penguin settlement on a patio high above the shore! Climbing a cliffy promenade to the top of Razorback Ridge, we enjoyed a magnificent panorama back to the island.
Albatros, Brown Skuas and Giants shot past and made the most of the upwinds. Several of the GP's were all whites, a macquarie island spread out. We drove past a Rockhopper penguin population on the way back to the boat. After a wonderful Macquarie evening, the evening saw the swarming crowd of the bars and dining area.
Macquarie Island and at seas. In the morning there was low fog over Macquaire Island, which was only seen as a lush stretch between the ocean and the skies. Once we moored, the vessel was encircled by many king penguins that glide quickly under the water or float.
Some soot albatross gliding deep past the Zodiacs. There was a large group of Macquarie Island shgs on a large cliff near here. Finally, the constant rain and the coldness drifted us back to the boat, where we heated up differently with warm beverages or warm shower water. Then we anchored and went up the eastern shore in the leeward side of Macquarie before we set a northeastern course towards Campbell Island.
We had relaxed the weather so much in the afternoons that we were able to perform some sort of isolation check for Campbell Island. Most of us were climbing the fifth decks to see Southern Royal and Campbell albatrosses gliding, rising and diving around the boat, their leaves illuminated in gold by the deep sunset; the dark "mascara" blurs the Campbell's eyes in stark contrasts to his blank face and amber beak.
Demands are high for a full days activities on Campbell Island in the morning. Following morning briefings on Campbell Island, a group of us (nine passengers) set off an hours later for a 12 kilometre tour of the west side of the island, which included a dual cross of the 240 metre high mountain crest to and from Northwest Bay.
The southern king's albatrosses nest every 50 or 100 meters, their particularly striking feature is their pure whiteness in sharp contrasts to the blunt brown and yellow tones of the bush. With the Zodiac Lisle brought some of us back to the boat, others decided to continue and go up the promenade to Col-Lyall. On a Zodiac crusade around Perseverance Harbour, the remainder of us did not spend a gusting day on the long stroll observing Campbell Island Teal, Sealions, Pinguins, Shags, Antarctic Terns, Kelp Gulls and Albatros before we returned to the boat for dinner.
When the bush land gave way to the chick sock, the Southern Royal Alpatross began to appear off the course. The most albatrosses built or sat on a nest. At the end of the afternoons a thick fog came out over the ridge, which revealed beautiful scenery and sea scenery in all direction, also towards Dent Island, the last sanctuary of Campbell Island Teal before the removal of cats.
Upon return to the boat and a nice evening meal (with game or chicken) we anchored and drove out of the port past Bull Rock and the splendid rocks and promontories of Perseverance Harbor with its rich Campbell Albatross population. Again we went back to the great waves of the Southern Ocean.
Location 06:00 51 42 51° 42 P 167 47 I / 18:00 50 19 P 166 22 I. The vessel was rolling and falling all evening and until today, with heavy northwest wind despite the sunshine condition. The Auckland Island group's Adams Island came into sight around 2:30 pm.
Finally Captain Dmitri anchored in the Tagua Bay, from where we were driven back and forth from Zodiac between the boat and the rocky water. There were no viewpoints in this case, but the viewpoints used their own leisure activities to explore the island's flora, fauna and fauna, and a number of them became famous scholars and researchers.
Then, two inches later, we were back on the boat, in the tooths of a shouting northwest breeze blowing around the Zodiacs. Location 06:00 50 99 S 166 0 S / 18:00 46 57 S 168 12 S. During our breakfasts we will be sailing from Carnley Harbour at the foot of the island to Port Ross above, where we will arrive at about 09:30 am in the sun.
Departing on a cosy catamaran trip around the southwest edge of Enderby Island, we enjoyed remarkable protection in comparison to the jagged water around the caper. Shag were preoccupied with recycled nest materials that had dropped from their settlements on the rocks and spurs above down to the lower tide crags.
Pipit searched for a parasite while sentinas bothered the seated shigs and tried to keep them away from the chick. At the bottom of the ocean, tomtit flutters in the ocean caverns and snatched bugs from the crevasses, and Auckland Island searched for teal in the tide rocks, almost invisibly against the bull's chalice when they were not moving.
In the midst of heavy winds we came back to the boat to enjoy a delicious pizzalunch. In the meantime the boat was re-positioned and an hours later we were back in the Zodiacs and visited the unsuccessful Hardwicke settlement. At 1 pm Stewart Island / Rakiura was in sight and we were at 3 pm in his anchor.
Forty-seven enthusiastic travellers climbed the Spirit of Enderby in New Zealand's southernmost harbour Bluff in the afternoons. Once we had familiarized ourselves with the vessel, cleared custom and conducted the security and shipping briefing, we left Bluff in atypical slight easternwinds. In the first few hour these circumstances were confusing the native bird world with very few, but soon we had our first Black Brow and Bullers Albatross, supplemented by a rising number of soot-scissor waters, pigeons and prions.
We were pampered with beautiful vistas of Masons Bay and Cod Fish Island, home of the extinct Kakapo in New Zealand, under appropriate circumstances for a tour along the western shore of Stewart Island. On the leeward side of the Snares Islands, Dawn welcomed the Spirit of Enderby. Shearwaters left the island for their day with an emergency that only hatchling awaiting their children can have.
Outstanding vistas of early Bullers Albatross couples, soot shear waters and snake penguins have been preserved from near the Zodiacs. On the penguinslide further northern of the island we saw the great deeds of skill as the Snares penguins with their hundred of snake-headed penguins stepped onto the waters.
Auckland Island, with all the birds, among them some Salvin's Albatros nesting on the Snares Islands. The Spirit of Enderby moored in the tranquil Port Ross on the Auckland Islands after a harsh winter was over.
Around 0930 we had started to load the Zodiacs in a strong southwest wind blast and had our first landings on the Subantarctic Islands. As we walked over to the wildwest side of the island, we saw the imposing Southern Royal Albatross, which had started to nest, and the local behavior of the Little Ringed Plover who defended his nest.
Bulbunella rose was in full flower on the west side of the island, not to be surpassed by the smaller genes. There were several views of the Auckland Island Snipe in the overgrown valleys of the west coastline and a great look at the Light Mantled Sooty Albatross that nested in the reef.
It was Martin who was leading the celebration on the island's brief return journey with the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of Enderby Island at a more relaxed tempo. For the group on the island's round tour, a magnificent luncheon site was found just behind Derry Castle Reef on the outskirts of the Rata Forrest.
We were pampered with a delicious evening meal and a well-earned night's rest aboard the Spirit of Enderby after a wonderful landover. The Spirit of Enderby descended the eastern shore of Auckland Island after an outstanding night in the tranquility of Port Ross and reached the top of Carnley Harbour around 0615.
A cloudy sky and quiet weather welcomed us when the vessel anchored in Tagua Bay, home of New Zealand's old coastal guard during the Second World War. Several of the great New Zealand conservationists lived here during the war and it is their research that provided the basis for the later academic study of the islands' environmental histories.
One more brief ascent and we were able to visit the observatory building, which had to be occupied from morning to evening during the night of the outbreak. Returning aboard the Spirit of Enderby we had a good dinner before we started our trip southwards to Macquarie Island. It was good to spent a nice night at the seaside after the exciting landing on the Auckland Islands and enjoying the luxuries of being asleep.
Birdwatching stayed well with many Gibson's wandering albatrosses, storm swallows and prions. Around 2100 we approached Macquarie Island and had the extraordinary opportunity to see another vessel in these water. This was the Royal New Zealand Navy frigate Wellington no less, on an investigation of the Subantarctic Islands.
Early this mornings an exchange of Macquarie Island personnel was carried out in Buckles Bay near the Annare Base under misty, quiet circumstances. We were informed about our arrival in Sandy Bay with the parkers on board, while the Spirit of Enderby was moving the anchor. We landed in almost shallow terrain and a breathtaking breakfast was spent between the King Penguins, King Penguins and the lurking Elephant Seals.
At the end of the beach promenade there were breathtaking vistas of the king penguin, which was fully occupied and very loud with many cubs. Shortly after returning to the boat for a long dinner we drove back to Buckles Bay and got ready to go on land to visit the Angle Island basis.
We' ve experienced the cordial welcome of the island's main tourist centre, one of Australia's most distant breweries, and a few have also tried some of the island's finest gingerbread and stutts from the island's shop-brewhouse. The birdwatchers could see outside a lonely Adelie penguin who had come to the island as a tramp and also the small group of rock penguins on their way back to the boat with the Zodiac.
We had a well-earned break and a long evening meal aboard the Spirit of Enderby. Since we were already on board the return employees of Macquarie Island, we agreed to head for Campbell Island. Nebel stayed with us most of the time, which means that birdwatching was very limited, so we received a feature film about the Macquarie Island story and an interesting lecture by Jeremy Smith, who was head of Macquarie Island ward at the beginning of the 2010 campaign to eradicate rabbits.
It had a good overnight trip towards Campbell Island and the rolling northern dunes began to relax to the north-west, making the weather more pleasant throughout the workday. The program began with Heather's intriguing look into the albatrosses of the Southern Ocean.
We had a tasty luncheon and listened to Matt, who gave us an insight into the winds, swell and meteorological conditions of the Southern Ocean. In the evenings we experienced this unique state of tranquility in the Southern Ocean. In his talk Rodney presented Campbell Island, which brought us all very eagerly to a big landover.
We were awakened to a slight southeastern breezes and cloudy weather as the spirit of Enderby arrived in the tranquil water of Perseverance Harbour around 0200. Because of the winds the mostly wilderness western coastline was relatively quiet and birdwatching with Royal Albatross and Snipe and Teal at the lower course of Camp Cove achieved its accustomed high standards.
Another stop in Tucker Cove on the old farmyard grounds with the Giant Petrel populations living there was taken before noon and rested on board the Spirit of Enderby. In the afternoons the Col Lyall trek was awarded with magnificent vistas of the Southern Royal Albatross breeding, gambling and swopping.
Around 1800 everyone was back on board the boat and enjoyed a good dinner and a warm bath. On Enderby Island a bright early dawn was welcomed by the winter hard people who had voluntarily signed up for the Mt Honey Walks. We were impressed by the herbs, Snipe Spots and Royal Albatross Nest, as well as the top views that fell down brightly with the early dawn glade that had covered the summit.
Rodney led a group on a Zodiac River Cruise through the headwaters of Perseverance Harbour during this adventure, while others chose to go the Boardsalk to Col Lyall Sattle. Some selected hikers of Mt Honey agreed to finish the day with a bath from the boat, followed by a steam bath.
He also went swimming at the Campbell Island quay, but instead of a bath he took a bath in the hot humor of his colleagues! Around 1200 we were all back on board the Spirit of Enderby and enjoyed a tasty meal before we enjoyed the rich birdlife along the northeast shore of Campbell Island.
Gray heads, Campbell Black Brow and Southern Royal Albatross were abundant when we drove off in quiet northern circumstances. There was a relaxing afternoons with documentary films about the extermination of the Campbell Island rats and the re-introduction of the Campbell Island Teal before another marvellous supper arranged by Cy and Conner.
There was a slight west wind as we were crossing the main ledge just south of Stewart Island, and we were compensated with an increased number of flocks of flocks of birds following the vessel. If you are interested in species of bird, Martin gave a beautiful lecture at Auckland Island Merganser, last recorded on the island in 1902.
This was followed by a film about the quest for treasures on General Grant's notorious Auckland Islandreck. Shortly before another tasty luncheon Rodney gave us an orientation into the Russian Far East, which the Spirit of Enderby explored in the north of the globe in summers. The outlines of Stewart Island were visible from the viaduct in the afternoons.
Rhodney guided us through some of the great experience we had in an adventure-recapitulation, followed by a slideshow of Heather and Doug preparing for our adventure on the journey. Shortly before supper the vessel anchored in the tranquil leeward waters of the eastern shore of Stewart Island and the Mutton Bird Islands of Foveaux Straight.
The next day at 5.00 am the Spirit of Enderby drove to the piloting stop in the harbour of Bluff, where we reached at 7.30 am. So we said goodbye to our new found acquaintances and left with some particular recollections of the Subantarctic and the Southern Ocean.