Opportunities to visit all five of New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands plus the Chatham Islands are rare and can only experienced by a privileged few. This outstanding voyage is your opportunity to discover amazing endemic wildlife, meet the locals and experience conservation in action as we journey through these incredibly-diverse archipelagos rich in wildlife, human history and filled with inspirational stories of conservation.
Long recognised for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic Islands lying to the south (The Snares, Auckland and Campbell Islands) and east (Antipodes and Bounty Islands) of New Zealand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. This places them in a select group of only 180 natural sites that have been designated as ‘the most important and significant natural habitats’ on the planet. They are also afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the New Zealand Government and access to these islands is by permit only.
The Chatham archipelago (made up of at least 12 islands, plus numerous islets) lies 870 kilometres east of New Zealand and runs 45 minutes ahead of the rest of the country. The first part of New Zealand and the first inhabited landmass around the globe to be greeted by the morning sun, the history of these islands and their rich natural history is unique.
It is only in recent years that these precious islands have begun to be understood and appreciated. And it is only by visiting and experiencing these remarkable islands that one can truly appreciate what they have to offer. During our explorations of these wild and remote islands we will hear remarkable stories of rediscovery, population recovery and world leading conservation efforts including the Black Robin and its rescue from the brink of extinction and the once thought to be extinct Chatham Island Taiko (Magenta Petrel).
The name we have given to this voyage ‘Galapagos of the Southern Ocean’ reflects the astounding natural biodiversity and the importance of these islands as a wildlife refuge. This impressive expedition includes all five New Zealand Subantarctic Islands, The Snares, Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes and Bounty along with the Chatham Islands. Each one is different and unique – just like this expedition.