Explore New Zealand's spectacular South!

Beyond Fiordland: New Zealand's Wildest Islands

Southern Ocean

Explore the untamed wilderness of Fiordland's ice-carved mountains, forests and fiords; encounter threatened native species flourishing on Stewart Island's Ulva Island and discover the remote, rugged beauty of New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands and wildlife havens on this 11-day expedition. The Subantarctic Islands are tiny havens for some of the most abundant and unique wildlife on the planet. They lie to the south and east of New Zealand in the great southern ocean that encircles Antarctica

  • New Zealand's amazing sub-Antarctic islands - Campbell, Auckland and Snares
  • Rare bird species, albatross, penguins, as well as cetaceans, seals and a host of other wildlife
  • Tranquil, forested and historic Stewart Island
  • Stunning Fiordland - a remote area rich in history, majestic scenery and abundant in wildlife
As we explore the remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords of Fiordland, it is easy to see why this incredible region inspired dreams for responsible travel. Experience the calm waters of Fiordland in solitude, away from the crowds, on the lookout for marine life, elusive birds and stunning vistas. Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is now over 1.2 million hectares in size, and encompasses mountain, lake, fiord and rainforest environments. This expedition will take you to some of its most unique and wild parts.

We will also explore Stewart Island's Ulva Island, free of introduced pests and home to a range of birdlife. Stewart Island, New Zealand's 3rd largest island, is rich in history and wildlife, we will take the time to enjoy Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara, to listen to the native bird song and take a closer look at the history of Paterson Inlet.

These islands and region represent a priceless ecosystem and showcases the work that the New Zealand Government's Department of Conversation has and is undertaking to protect, preserve and reintroduce New Zealand's amazing wildlife, this is a once in a lifetime expedition to explore remote parts of New Zealand's Southern region, an area known for its range of birdlife and jaw-dropping scenery on a grand scale, and where we hope to see a large number of New Zealand's threatened species.

This is your chance to directly contribute to the future of New Zealand's most precious regions. When you book, 5% of the cabin price will be donated to the Department of Conservation's valuable work in the Sub-Antarctic Islands and Fiordland. Plus there will be the opportunity to get involved along the way and gain, first hand, an appreciation of the Department's latest conservation projects in these areas.

Stewart's Take

Explore New Zealand's least-known, wild and beautiful areas

Overview

Explore the untamed wilderness of Fiordland's ice-carved mountains, forests and fiords; encounter threatened native species flourishing on Stewart Island's Ulva Island and discover the remote, rugged beauty of New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands and wildlife havens on this 11-day expedition. The Subantarctic Islands are tiny havens for some of the most abundant and unique wildlife on the planet. They lie to the south and east of New Zealand in the great southern ocean that encircles Antarctica.
Day 1: Invercargill Meet at an Invercargill city hotel and be transferred to the Port of Bluff for embarkation. The captain and expedition team will be waiting to greet you on arrival at the ship. Explore the Spirit of Enderby and join the captain on the bridge, or fellow travellers on deck, as we set sail. Day 2: At Sea As we make our way through the Southern Ocean we can expect some of the best pelagic birding on this leg of the journey with great views during the crossing which may include Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Campbell Island Albatross and Little Shearwater. Day 3: Campbell Island We have one day to explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Sub-Antarctic territory. We will offer a number of options which will enable you to explore the island including an extended walk to Northwest Bay. There will also be an easier walk to the Col Lyall Saddle. All of these options will allow you the opportunity and time to enjoy the Southern Royal Albatross which nest here in large numbers. We also visit areas of the island which contain outstanding examples of the megaherbs for which the island is renowned. Birds we may see include Teal, Snipe, Rockhopper Penguins and Antarctic Tern. Day 4: Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour This very large sheltered harbour is rich in human history, we plan to arrive mid-morning entering the harbour through the eastern entrance which is guarded on both sides by dramatic cliffs and rugged, tussock-covered hills. Our activities here today are totally weather dependent. If the weather is fine there will be an opportunity to climb to the South West Cape and visit the Shy Mollymawk colony. Above the colony we occasionally see Gibson’s Wandering Albatross breeding. Alternatively, there will be an opportunity to Zodiac cruise along the coast of Adams Island, Western Harbour and Victoria Passage. We may visit Camp Cove, the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s station and lookout, or Epigwaitt where the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864, can be seen. Day 5: Auckland Islands – Enderby Island Enderby Island is one of the most beautiful islands in this group, this northern most island in the archipelago is an outstanding wildlife and birding location and is relatively easy to land on and walk around. Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding areas in the Auckland Islands for the Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion. During our day ashore there will be several walking options, and time to spend just sitting and enjoying the wildlife. Birds that we are likely to encounter include Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Auckland Island Flightless Teal, Auckland Island Tomtit, Bellbird, Red-crowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguin and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross. Day 6: The Snares – North East Island The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, comprising of two main islands and a group of five islands called the Western Chain; they are uninhabited and enjoy the highest protection as Nature Reserves. Zodiac cruising along the sheltered eastern side of the main island we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds. Day 7: Stewart Island – Paterson Inlet/Ulva Island New Zealand’s third island is a wonderfully tranquil place; the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. We will explore Ulva Island which is rich in history and wildlife, being a predator-free island from 1997 the bird song and wildlife is some of the best. In Paterson Inlet you will have time at Boulder Bay and West End Beach, or just enjoy some time around Post Office Bay and Sydney Cove. Wildlife you may get to see while walking the tracks include Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red Crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui. There are also many more species that may be seen. In the afternoon visit historic Norwegian whaling station in Prices Inlet and Kaipipi Bay. Days 8 to 10: Fiordland This is an area rich in history, majestic scenery and abundant in wildlife. Captain Cook and his crew landed here on HMS Resolution in 1773, the first Europeans to visit Fiordland, spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Historically this region is very important and shaped the future of New Zealand. From the middle of the 19th Century this unexplored interior Fiordland coastline attracted the attention of those in search of hidden greenstone or New Zealand jade. Fiordland’s West Coast is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region of New Zealand’s mainland, its isolation has been beneficial because its beauty remains unspoiled and its historic sites undisturbed. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Penguins are all residents of the fiords; during our time here we will look out for them. Our schedule gives us the flexibility to visit as much as possible; areas we plan to visit during our time in Fiordland include Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sounds and Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour. Our final plan will be determined by the weather. Day 11: Invercargill We arrive at the Port of Bluff early in the morning. After breakfast disembark and board our complimentary coach transfer to either a central city point or to the airport.

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Expedition Vessel: M/V Spirit of Enderby

Spirit of Enderby expedition ship

The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition cruising. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2012 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. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top New Zealand 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. 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.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included Pre/Post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (inc. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions.
Excluded All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance. Sub-Antarctic island landing fees.
Additional Charges - Landing Fees of $400 per person for visits to sub-Antarctic Islands. These will be added during the booking process. Deposits - Reservations require a deposit of 25% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments - Balances are due 120 days prior to departure. Cancellations - All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a $US750.00 per person administration fee. For cancellations received within 179 and 121 days of the embarkation date the full deposit will be forfeited. If cancellation occurs within 120 days prior to the departure date the total price is forfeited. If cancellation occurs within 90 days and full payment has not yet been received, the total price will still apply and any unpaid monies are due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms - Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Heritage Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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