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Expedition Story in the Heart of the Subantarctic Islands of Australia & New Zealand

Explore these little-visited islands: a wildlife sanctuary

The remote, pristine paradise of the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand is the ultimate expedition destination for any intrepid traveller. Teeming with unique flora and fascinating wildlife, from penguins to albatross and seals, plus a rugged, untouched terrain that sees only a handful of visitors each year, these islands are a true wilderness. See these Subantarctic Islands through the eyes of PONANT guests, Dave and Jo, who tell us all about their expedition, as well as share some of their snaps with us!

What first intrigued you about the Subantarctic Islands of Australia & New Zealand?

What intrigued us about the Subantarctic Islands was that so few people get to travel there each year, even compared to Everest Base Camp. For us, it was a real privilege to be among the few who visit this truly unique destination each year. On top of that, our dear friends were also on the same Expedition!


What was your most memorable moment from your Subantarctic Islands Expedition?

We have two equally memorable moments. After landing on Macquarie Island, we walked up to see the penguin rookery. The sheer number of penguins in such a small area was staggering – there were literally thousands of penguins and the ones on the beach came so close to you that it did not seem real. The other memory is watching the newborn seal pups on Campbell Island. We could have stayed and watched them for hours! Everywhere we went there was something special to see in abundance. You did not need to go far either, as even on sailing days there were always birds to spot near the ship. The penguins were a highlight – don’t ever let anyone tell you that penguins are shy and not curious about humans!


King Penguins in the Subantarctic Islands – David Jolly & Jo Cameron, Royal Penguins & King Penguin on Macquarie Island – David Jolly & Jo Cameron, Kelp in Enderby Island – ©PONANT Mick Fogg, Elephant Seals on Macquarie Island – David Jolly & Jo Cameron, Royal Penguin rookery on Macquarie Island – David Jolly & Jo Cameron

What was your favourite part of the Expedition experience with PONANT?

We enjoyed talking with the Expedition Team members to learn about their experiences, particularly those who had spent time on the Subantarctic Islands. They were so generous and open in sharing their experiences, both personal and professional recollections. The knowledge, passion and personalities of the Expedition Team you have on PONANT Expeditions is so important in determining what sort of adventure you will have. Mick Fogg, our Expedition Leader and our Expedition Team were exceptional, they had such a diverse range of backgrounds.

What would you tell other guests considering an expedition to the Subantarctic Islands with PONANT?

The Subantarctic Islands were a must see destination for us, and you will love it too if you enjoy expedition cruising and small ships! Our suite was beautiful and had a walk in wardrobe which came in handy with all of the gear we took! Thanks again to Kym from the Sydney reservations team for all her help before departure. Also, you need to have a certain level of fitness to enjoy these expeditions and sometimes Zodiac® transfers can be a bit hairy if the seas are a tad rough, but the Expedition Team always ensure things run smoothly.


Do you have any more travels planned?

Next on the agenda will be a road trip to relocate from Brisbane to Penguin in Tasmania. (Yes, we do like penguins!) When we can travel overseas again, we want to do another expedition voyage to New Guinea and also explore the Sounds in New Zealand.

Photo credit: David Jolly and Jo Cameron, © PONANT Mick Fogg

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