Auckland Island Things to Do

  • Nesting albatrosses
    Nesting albatrosses
    by tiabunna
  • Cape Petrels
    Cape Petrels
    by tiabunna
  • Yellow Eyed penguins at Enderby Island
    Yellow Eyed penguins at Enderby Island
    by tiabunna

Best Rated Things to Do in Auckland Island

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    Cruise the Sandy Bay beach on Enderby Island

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    Sea lion harem, pups and beachmaster
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    Sandy Bay is on the Port Ross side of Enderby Island. It is a favoured place for Hooker Sea Lion harems and their beachmasters. At the right time of year (late December to January is ideal) you also will see the seal pups. Waiting on the outskirts for their chance to take over the harems are many unattached bull sea lions.

    It is interesting to see the interactions between them all. It is almost certainly more prudent to not be among them on foot! (See the "warnings" tip). So cruising past in a zodiac is the best way to see them and, curiously, they take little notice of the zodiacs.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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    See the Snares Crested Penguin

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    Snares Crested Penguins

    The Snares Crested Penguin is another of the penguin species which is endemic to a particular subantarctic island. These are related to other crested penguins, such as the rockhopper, but it must be said that their "Dagwood hair styles" are much better groomed than most.

    They nest among the shrubbery on the islands, well above water level. As tourists are not allowed on land, we must take the word of the Conservation Department that they even perch on tree branches, which is unique for a penguin!

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Look for the rare Yellow Eyed Penguins

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    Yellow Eyed penguins at Enderby Island
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    These little fellows mainly live on Enderby Island and in the Port Ross area of Auckland Island. They also are found further south on Campbell Island.

    They are one of the rarer species of penguin and the only one with yellow eyes - so the name is descriptive, if not very imaginative! They are related to the Gentoo and Adelie penguins.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel

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    Look for nesting albatrosses

    by tiabunna Updated Mar 8, 2006

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    Nesting albatrosses

    Just what exactly should be the plural of albatross? Is it still just (eg) two albatross, or albatri, possibly albatrice, or maybe even albatrocities?

    Either way, at The Snares you will see many albatrosses (that seems easiest), some nesting and some circling overhead. This pair are Bullers Albatrosses, one of the four species of albatross to breed there. It must be said that there are such fine points of detail differences between some species of albatrosses that identification is nearly impossible - fortunately, with their eyeshadow markings and two-toned beaks, the Bullers Albatrosses are reasonably straightforward. They also are photogenic.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

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    Check out the rock formations

    by tiabunna Updated Mar 8, 2006

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    Impressive to watch the sea around this 30M rock!
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    The Snares are made of tough granite, which has been sculpted into steep sided islands with interesting outcrops. Cruising around them in a zodiac was a highlight.

    Unfortunately there is little shelter at The Snares, so apparently there are many occasions when cruise ships are unable to use zodiacs: if you are planning a visit, keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel

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    Visit the old Enderby cemetery at Port Ross

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    Gravestone, Enderby cemetery

    You will find the historic cemetery not far from the old Enderby settlement ruins at Port Ross, on the northern end of Auckland Island. It is an easy walk through the forest, following a wooden walkway.

    There are some sad gravestones in this lonely place, but most deaths on the island were from the passengers and crews of shipwrecks, mainly in the sailing ship days. This poignant headstone tells of a fate which was all too common.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park

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    Be impressed by the penguins on the sloping rock.

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    Adventurous penguins transit the sloping rock.

    It seems that the Snares Crested Penguin colony at the sloping rock is famous in New Zealand.

    The colony is among the shrubbery at the top of the rock, maybe 30 metres above sea level. As can be seen, the rock is very steep and, with the sea lapping at the bottom, it must be slippery - but these little chaps use it as the main road to their colony. Yes, it is impressive!

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

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    See the Rata Forests

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    Rata tree flower
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    The most southern forest in this part of the world is found on Auckland Island. It consists of dense stands of trees known as Rata. There are no trees on the more southern Macquarie and Campbell Islands.

    The trees have crimson flowers, which drop to form a thick carpet underneath. The old Enderby settlement area is a good place to see the forest, which surrounds the walkway to the cemetery.

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

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    Look for remains of the old Enderby settlement

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    One of the few remains of Enderby settlement

    After about 150 years since it was abandoned, there isn't much left to show of the former Enderby settlement on Port Ross: rata forests have taken over the area entirely (as have some belligerent Hooker Sea Lions, which limited searching!).

    We managed to find this old brick among the ferns and rata trees.

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    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Cape Petrels

    by tiabunna Written Apr 10, 2006

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    Cape Petrels

    The Snares islands are home to millions of seabirds. If you can visit, you can expect that you will be surrounded by large numbers of Cape Petrels, such as these. They are totally unafraid of people and swim close by the zodiacs.

    Cape Petrels are about the size of a pigeon. They are found throughout the antarctic and sub-antarctic - they also are easily confused with the Antarctic Petrel.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Watch for fur seals on rocks

    by tiabunna Written Mar 8, 2006

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    Fur seals at The Snares

    Around the coast of the Snares, there are fur seals basking on rocks. It's surprising how well they blend in, when you're below them in a bouncing zodiac!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

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Auckland Island Travel Guide

Auckland Island Things to Do

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