07 Feb 2024

Exploring the Auckland Islands

Our In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton expedition, which voyages into the heart of the Ross Sea, was well and truly underway as we explored the Auckland Islands.


A typical Subantarctic overcast sky slowly transformed into a blue and sunny day as the excited expeditioners took off for their chosen activities. Everyone enjoyed the comfort of the Northern Cliffs boardwalk, and some of us chose to continue our venture with a 10-kilometre walk around the island. The rewards of the effort were well worth it, giving the opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife. 


Some of us chose a different way to explore, starting our day Zodiac cruising along the coast admiring the forest trees, beds of large bull kelp and the song of Bellbirds. Alighting at the cemetery near the former settlement of Hardwicke was a poignant reminder of lives lived and lost in this harsh environment. The New Zealand/Hooker’s Sea Lion on the way to the Victoria tree, a Rātā with a carved message from the crew of the HMCS Victoria, reminded us that it is the permanent resident here, not us.


All of us enjoyed the presence of plenty of wildlife, different plants, and soaring Albatross. As we left the lee of the island the seas began to build and become lively. The buzz over dinner indicated the success of the day, as we all shared excited stories of our adventures.

Images © M. Maloney, Heritage Expeditions

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