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Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching

Listed under Birdwatching in New Zealand.

  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
  • Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
Photo of Sub-Antarctic Island Birdwatching
Photo by Photography: Tony Palliser
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The only way to visit this area (apart from becoming a scientist) is with a commercial cruise company: there are many operators now specialising in this region.

Bird and mammal wise these islands offer incredible diversity with vast numbers of albatross and petrels along with a superb array of penguins possible with up to 9 or 10 species potentially being seen. While visiting you will also encounter fur seals, elephant seals (a great olfactory experience!) and many species of cetacean such as Orca or Killer Whales as they are popularly known. You wont be able to land on all the islands but when on Campbell, Macquarie and any others be sure to look out for the superb megaherb fields of Pleurophyllum and other equally mind (and wind) blowing plants!

The sub-Antarctic islands include the New Zealand ones covering; the Antipodes Islands: main island, plus Bollans Island, the Windward Islands, Orde Lees Island, Leeward Island, and South Islet; the Auckland Islands with Auckland Island, Adams Island, Enderby Island, Disappointment Island and Rose Island; the Bounty Islands: two small groups of islets, the Western Group and the Eastern Group; Campbell Island group: Campbell Island, the main island, plus several minor rocks and small islets surrounding Campbell Island, including the southernmost point of New Zealand, Jacquemart Island; the Snares: Northeast Island, High Island, Broughton Island, Alert Stack, Tahi, Rua, Toru, Wha, and Rima.

Additionally they all share features with Australia's Macquarie Island to the west that most tour operators visit not least of which is incredible penguin rookeries here.

East of New Zealand lie the Chatham Islands, which again are a birders paradise for petrels and shorebirds and if you are travelling this far, it’s worth looking for the cruise that includes the Chatham Islands. Most cruises also visit Stewart Island NZ’s third island at the bottom (although most Kiwis consider Australia to be NZ’s third ‘offshore island’) and The Snares group. The Snares offer the memorable sight of millions of Sooty Shearwaters returning to their burrows at dusk.

http://www.heritage-expeditions.com/

Written by  Alan McBride.

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