FORGOTTEN ISLANDS OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC
|1||Invercargill||Board the Spirit of Enderby at the Port of Bluff|
|2||The Snares- North East Island||Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds|
|3 - 4||Auckland Islands||Enderby Island & Carnley Harbour|
|5 - 6||Campbell Island||Explore on foot and take in the beautiful panorama of the island full of wildlife|
|7||At Sea||See the Royal Penguin, along with King, Gentoo and Rock Hopper Penguins & Elephant Seals|
|8||Invercargill||Disembark at the Port of Bluff in the morning|
The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for expedition travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2013 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room.
Meet at an Invercargill central city hotel and be transferred to the Port of Bluff for embarkation. The captain and expedition team will be waiting for your arrival on the Spirit of Enderby. Familiarise yourself on board and then join the captain on the bridge or fellow travellers on deck as you set sail and the adventure begins.
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 you can 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. The cruise should also allow you to encounter some of the birdlife that inhabits these islands, including the endemic Snares Crested Penguin. You may also catch glimpses of the Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbird which are unique to these islands. 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.
Enderby Island is a great place to view birds and wildlife. Visit Sandy Bay, the main breeding ground for the rare New Zealand (Hooker’s) Sea Lion and just one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands. There are chances to observe the Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Auckland Island Flightless Teal, Auckland Island Banded Dotterel, Auckland Island Tomtit, Bellbird, Pipit, Red-crowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguin and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross. Keep a lookout for the rare Subantarctic Snipe. On Derry Castle Reef there is a good chance of seeing the Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone and perhaps other migratory waders.
These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by and harbour tales of castaways and coastwatchers. If weather and sea conditions are suitable energetic expeditioners are able to climb to the South West Cape Shy Albatross colony where Gibson’s Wandering Albatross nest among the tussocks above the colony.
Spend two days exploring the island by foot taking in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks; once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Enjoy an easy walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross at Col Lyall or walk across the hills to Northwest Bay and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs growing on the hills. These huge pink and yellow wild flowers have adapted well to the harsh conditions. Also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and, on the beaches beyond, young male sea lions testing their strength.
En route to the Port of Bluff take the opportunity to relax and reflect on an amazing experience. Recap the highlights of your expedition and enjoy a farewell dinner as you complete the last few kilometres of your journey.
Your adventure ends at at the Port of Bluff. Early this morning arrive in port and after a final breakfast and customs formalities say your farewells before disembarking and transferring by complimentary coach to either a central city point or to the airport.