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 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.
Heritage Expeditions owns sufficient landing permits to allow all our passengers ashore on every expedition we offer during the austral summer. For our 2013 - 14 season, depending on your interest, time and budget we operate 'Galapagos of the Southern Ocean' and 'Birding Down Under' expeditions with a focus on the unique natural history of the Subantarctic Islands. Our Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific and New Zealand's Remote Islands departures focus on the New Zealand Subantartic Islands and also provide a great taster to expedition cruising, being shorter departures. Every expedition aims at maximizing the opportunities for all participants, regardless of their interest with quality time ashore with guides who know the islands and the wildlife. We also include the Subantarctic Islands on our Antarctic Expeditions.