Heading South This Summer
Now this is the kind of isolation that’s easy to enjoy! In the hopes that a Trans-Tasman “travel bubble” eventuates, take a look at this beautiful part of New Zealand that really should be on everyone’s bucket list. We’re heading south, off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island where the penguins have no concept of social distancing and the seals and sealions violate crowd congregation rules.
Words can’t adequately describe the experience of the Subantarctic Islands. It’s breath-taking moments when you understand how truly pristine and untouched these islands are. Compared to around 40,000 visitors to the Antarctic Peninsula each year, the Subantarctic Islands see only around 600. It’s the sensory overload hearing the cacophony of two million penguins (and the not so pleasant smell!) and seeing the masses of birds on the beaches. It’s the spectacular beauty of the rugged, isolated islands dotted with gorgeous seals and sea lions. It’s being in awe of the breadth of the albatross wingspan. It’s the humbling appreciation of nature in all her glory.
There are only a handful of voyages to this part of the world each year. Numbers are strictly limited in order to preserve the pristine environment that makes it a safe haven for wildlife and birdlife breeding here. When you step ashore, you'll be the only people there. There are strict rules around how many people can set foot on the islands each day and indeed each year and on some islands there are also strict rules on where people can and can't go.
It’s a truly incredible destination and now, while we can’t travel further abroad, is the perfect time to discover it.
It's like stepping into a whole different world, a world you never knew existed. Here, away from the hustle and bustle of human life, the wildlife just get on with living and surviving... and thriving!
There are only a handful of cruise lines venturing into this area with only one or two departures each a year so, as you can imagine, this is truly an incredible experience. You can take a look at Ponant's Subantarctic Island Expedition here.
Also, take a look at this video below for some amazing footage of what you can expect to see as well as hearing all about the Subantarctic Islands from Deb Corbett from Ponant Cruises.
Images: Ponant | Nath Michel