The Subantarctic Islands are tiny havens for some of the most abundant and unique wildlife on the planet. They lie in the cool temperate or Subantarctic Zone to the south and east of New Zealand in the great southern ocean that encircles Antarctica. This is a windswept and at times forbidding swath of sea, surprising in its fecundity.
The Subantarctic Islands are comprised of six groups: the Bounty Islands, the Antipodes, the Snares, the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island and Macquarie Island. Flora and fauna are densely concentrated in the Subantarctic Islands: the number of indigenous plants and seabirds found in the Subantarctic Islands is far greater than that found on similar groups in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
It is little wonder that these islands of the Subantarctic are all Nature Reserves and World Heritage sites. As such, the New Zealand and Australian Governments that administer them afford the Subantarctic Islands the highest protection. Tourism is allowed, but only under special license, and numbers are restricted to minimise impact and to ensure a world class wilderness and wildlife experience. The Subantarctic Islands not only play an important role in the Southern Ocean ecosystem - they also have a rich human history. From their discovery 200 years ago, they were exposed to an era of exploitation. In time we began to understand their true worth and treasure them for their intrinsic value as wild and beautiful places. Visiting them is a pleasure and a privilege. You will not be disappointed.
Birding Down Under is our most comprehensive exploration of the Subantarctic Islands. This 18 day expedition explores seven different island groups including the remote Antipodes and Bounty Islands. Our Galapagos of the Southern Ocean voyage encompassing the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands as well as Macquarie Island, is so popular that we now run two voyages per season.
The eight day 'Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific' voyage takes you to a part of New Zealand that few have been privileged enough to visit.
Every expedition aims at maximising the opportunities for all participants, regardless of your interest with quality time ashore with experienced guides who know the islands and the wildlife well . We also include the Subantarctic Islands on our Antarctic Expeditions.