Located south of New Zealand in the remote Southern Ocean, the wild and beautiful Subantarctic Islands are a forgotten paradise. They are home to some of the most abundant and unique wildlife on earth, with many species of birds, plants and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world.
These remote islands have UNESCO World Heritage status and the highest protection of any nature reserves in New Zealand.
Although a strict management plan restricts the number of people allowed ashore each year, there are tour companies that operate tours to the islands at various times throughout the year.
Lying about 62 miles southwest of Stewart Island/Rakiura, the Snares, is one of the most untouched and pristine areas in New Zealand.
Forests of large tree daisies cover the islands and hundreds of birds, seals and invertebrates inhabit the steep cliffs. The Snares are home to several endemic species including three land birds and a number of invertebrates.
THE AUCKLAND ISLANDS
The Auckland Island group are the largest of New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands.
The islands are an important breeding ground for many seabirds, including the rare yellow-eyed penguin, white capped mollymawk, Gibson’s wandering albatross, the sooty shearwater and the endemic Auckland shag.
English botanist Joseph Hooker described Campbell Island as having a “flora display second to none outside the tropics.” It is particularly known for its megaherbs; giant perennial wildflowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands.
The island has been severely affected by human activity, but since 1954, a process of pest eradication has allowed the native wildlife to return and flourish.