Birding Down Under: Subantarctic and Chatham Islands

Listen to the names: Snares, Bounty, Antipodes, Auckland, Campbell, Macquarie and Chatham Islands. They are music to the ears of ‘Birders’. Apart from the Chathams, these islands are probably more isolated now than they were when they were discovered in the late 1700s and early 1800s and were regularly visited by sealers, whalers and government steamers searching for castaway sailors. It is relatively simple to get to the Chatham Islands, but opportunities to visit the others are rare. This expedition, one of a number operated each year by Heritage Expeditions, is the only one to include all of these islands.

This is one of Heritages ‘signature expeditions’ which has operated annually for more than 20 years, so you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise gained over that time.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION

Invercargill (New Zealand)

DEPARTURE DATES

12 November 2021 – 30 November 2021

DURATION 19 days/18 nights
PRICES per person

Main Deck Triple US$11,250
Main Deck TwinUS$12,150
Superior Twin US$13,650
Superior Plus US$14,700
Mini Suite US$15,400
Heritage Suite US$16,500

Additional fees Landing Fees (per person in USD): $800 pp

GROUP SIZE 50 Guests
INCLUDED
Hotel accomodation 1st night
Pre/Post cruise transfers 
On board ship accommodation and meals
All shore excursions and activities 
Port fees
NOT INCLUDED
International air-tickets and taxes
Pre and Post land arrangements
Vaccination costs
Passport or Visa fees
Travel Insurance
Items of a personal nature such as drinks and laundry
Any other meals or sightseeing not specified in the detailed itinerary

Additional information

DestinationNew Zealand
1

Day 1

Welcome to Invercargill – New Zealand

This evening there will be an informal get together at the hotel for dinner, an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers and some of our expedition team.

 
2

Day 2

Port of Bluff

Take breakfast at your leisure in the hotel restaurant before exploring the local attractions and transferring to the Port of Bluff where we board the Spirit of Enderby.

 
3

Day 3

The Snares – North East Island

Cruise by Zodiac, if weather and sea conditions are suitable, along the sheltered eastern side of North East Island. We should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds. We should also see Cape Pigeons, Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns and Red-billed Gulls. There are hundreds of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters nesting here and the Buller’s Albatross also breed here from late December onwards.

 
4

Day 4

Auckland Islands – Enderby Island

Enderby Island is a great place to view birds and wildlife. We 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. We will also 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 other migratory waders.

 
5

Day 5

Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour

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 often nest among the tussocks above the colony.

 
6

Day 6

At Sea

We can expect some of the best pelagic birding on this leg of the journey from the Auckland Islands to Macquarie Island with great views of species such as the Royal Albatrosses, Wandering Albatrosses, Shy Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, White-chinned Petrel, diving-petrel, Little Shearwaters, storm-petrel and, to confuse everybody, numerous prion species.

 
7-8

Days 7-8

Macquarie Island

This is the only place in the world where the regal Royal Penguin breeds. this remote outpost supports a breath-taking concentration of wildlife. You will never forget your first experience of visiting a noisy ‘penguin city’ where you will be witness to a thousand chattering, feeding chicks, territorial disputes, petty pilfering and courtship displays: King, Gentoo and Rockhopper Penguins can be seen here. We meet with Park Rangers and seek out the thousands of Southern Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and along the coast; Redpolls and Imperial Shag can often be spotted.

 
9

Day 9

At Sea

We will be keeping a keen lookout for cetaceans, albatross and petrels today, relax in the ship’s bar or catch up on your reading in the library.

 
10

Day 10

Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour

We drop anchor in Perseverance Harbour. Once on shore we walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross or to Northwest Bay, passing beautiful mega herbs on the hills. During the day we should see the Campbell Island Shag and Teal, Southern Skua, Antarctic Tern, Dunnock, New Zealand Pipit and, hopefully, the elusive Campbell Island Snipe.

 
11

Day 11

At Sea

Join us on the bridge, where we keep a keen lookout for species commonly seen in this area: Black-browed Albatross, Campbell Island Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, Sooty Shearwater and Little Shearwater. There should be plenty of petrels and, again, the hard to identify prion species.

 
12

Day 12

Antipodes Islands

One of the most isolated, least known and rugged of the Subantarctic Islands; landings are not permitted here, so we cruise along the coast looking for the endemic Antipodes Island and Reischek’s Parakeet. We may also see the Antipodes subspecies of the New Zealand Pipit, and with half the world population of Erect-crested Penguins here, we should encounter one or two as well as Antarctic Terns and Kelp Gulls.

 
13

Day 13

Bounty Islands

These inhospitable granite islets are home to thousands of Salvin’s Albatross, Erect-crested Penguins, Fulmar Prions and the endemic Bounty Island Shag, the world’s rarest. At sea we should spot Wandering Albatross species, Northern Royal Albatross, Mottled Petrel, Soft-plumaged Petrel, Broad-billed Prion, White-chinned Petrel and Black-bellied Storm-Petrels as well as Wilson’s Storm-Petrel.

 
14

Day 14

At Sea and Pyramid Rock

We continue north towards the Chatham Islands, with similar species accompanying us as yesterday. Towards evening, as we approach the islands, we are closer to the Subantarctic and sub tropical convergence and will see a subtle change in the species composition. Late this afternoon we arrive at the spectacular Pyramid Rock, the only breeding place of the Chatham Island Albatross.

 
15

Day 15

Chatham Islands – Waitangi

This morning we go ashore on the main island where we might see the endemic Chatham Island Shag and along the coast the Chatham Island Oystercatcher. We visit a private bush reserve on the south coast to see the Chatham Island Warbler, Chatham Island Pigeon and Tui. This afternoon we have another look for the Magenta and Chatham Island Petrels.

 
16

Day 16

South East Island and Mangere Islands

Arrive early morning at South East Island, one of the world’s greatest nature reserves; here we plan to Zodiac cruise to see the endangered Shore Plover. We will also keep our eyes peeled for the Pitt Island Shag. Before we depart the archipelago we visit the Mangere Islands from where the endemic Black Robin was rescued.

 
17-18

Days 17-18

At Sea

En route to Dunedin we will cross the Chatham Rise, here nutrient-rich waters allow for an overlap between northern pelagic species and birds from southern latitudes. We can expect to see Royal Albatross, Wandering Albatross, Westland Black Petrel, Cook’s Petrel and much more.

 
19

Day 19

Arrival in Dunedin

Our adventure ends at this historic Otago Harbour. Early this morning we arrive in port and after a final breakfast we say our farewells before disembarking and transferring by complimentary coach to either a central city point or to the airport. Enquire for a full itinerary and/or a Bird and Mammal List.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. Flexibility is the key to success.

 

M/V Spirit Of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) 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 May 2019 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 recently updated combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.

The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew.

The name Spirit of Enderby honours the work and the vision of the Enderby Brothers of London. The Enderby Captains were at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost 40 years in the early 1800s. It also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.

 

Classification Russian register KM ice class
Year built 1984
Shipyard Finland
Accommodation 50 berths
Main engines power 2 x 1560 bhp (2x 1147 Kw)
Register Russia
Maximum speed 12 knots (2 engines)
Cruising speed 10 knots (1 engine)
Bunker capacity 320 tons

 

Deck Plan

Cabins

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One bunk (one upper and one lower berth) and one additional lower berth, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private wash basin. Nearby shower and toilet facilities are shared with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole.
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Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private wash basin. Nearby shower and toilet facilities are shared with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole.
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One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin. These cabins have windows. 
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Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin. These cabins have windows. 
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Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin. Mini Suites have windows. 
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Large lounge area, seperate bedroom with double bed and a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin. Large forward and side facing windows allow great views.

How to Book

To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your USD per person deposit.

Deposit required per person: 25% in US$ per person
Balance due: 90 days prior to departure
If booking within 89 days of departure: Full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.

Cancellations

Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 180 days prior to departure US$ 1000 per person
Between 179 and 91 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
On or within 90 days prior to departure No Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

Birding Down Under

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