Listen to the names: Snares, Bounty, Antipodes, Auckland, Campbell, Macquarie and Chatham Islands. They are music to birders ears. Apart from the Chathams, these islands are probably more isolated now than they were when they were discovered in the late 1700's and early 1800's, and were regularly visited by sealers, whalers and government steamers searching for castaway sailors. It is relatively simple to get to the Chatham Islands, but opportunities to visit the others are rare. This expedition is the only one to include all of these islands. The islands occupy the tempestuous latitudes of the 'Roaring Forties' and the 'Furious Fifties' but they are also known as the Albatross Latitudes and with good reason. Ten of the world's albatross species breed in the region; five of them nowhere else but here! In fact this zone, where the air is never still, hosts the most diverse collection of seabirds in the world. More than 40 species breed down here - that is at least 11 percent of the entire world's seabird population.

With the exception of the Chathams, the islands are all designated UNESCO World Heritage sites and are afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the Australian and New Zealand governments, so passage to their shores is not granted lightly. There are also islands that we visit within the Chatham Archipelago with similar status and protection. This expedition has huge appeal to pelagic enthusiasts, penguin fanatics and those interested in island endemics. You don't have to be a keen birder though to enjoy this voyage. People interested in islands and island ecology, botany, geology and an increasing number of photographers have enjoyed this trip immensely, as have those interested in the history of southern ocean discovery and exploration. This is one of the ‘signature expeditions', which has operated annually for over 20 years, so you will benefit from a hige volume of knowledge and expertise that has been gained over this time.

Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.

Top Birds

Auckland & Campbell Teals, King, Gentoo, Snares, Southern Rockhopper, Royal, Yellow-eyed & Little Penguins, Wilson’s, Grey-backed & Black-bellied Storm Petrels, Wandering, Antipodean, Southern Royal, Light-mantled, Black-browed, Campbell, Shy, Salvin’s, Grey-headed, Chatham & Buller’s Albatrosses, Mottled, Cook’s, Magenta, Westland & White-chinned Petrels, Sooty Shearwater, Campbell, Macquarie, Chatha, Pitt & Auckland Shags, South Island, Chatham & Variable Oystercatchers, Subantarctic & Snares Snipe, White-fronted Tern, New Zealand Falcon, Red-crowned Parakeet, New Zealand Bellbird, Tomtit, New Zealand Fernbird, New Zealand Pipit, Chatham Pigeon, Chatham Gerygone and Black Robin.

Top Mammals

New Zealand Sea Lion, New Zealand Fur, Southern Elephant and Leopard Seals, Dusky Dolphin, Southern Right, Sperm, Bryde’s, Long-finned Pilot and Killer Whales

Expected Climate

cool to cold

Max Group Size

according to ship capacity

Tour Pace & Walking



comfortable expedition cruise ship

Ease of Birding

mostly undemanding

Photographic Opportunities

excellent to extraordinary

What our clients say about us

Glen Valentine
NL, Antarctica 2022

This long-awaited culmination of the cruise-that-first-failed satisfied everything I had hoped to experience. The Quark staff did a fantastic job (after that first sit-down meal), and the Rockjumper guides were always around and available to point out birds and things of interest. I am so happy to have this one "under-the-belt" so I now feel more free to make other plans. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know all the Rockjumper guides in a more personal and relaxed mode than we seem to have on regular tours. They all continue to amaze me with their knowledge, wide interests, and willingness to share this lore with others.

Keith Valentine
WB, Antarctica 2022

I have been on other Rockjumper tours so I knew to expect excellent guides and was not disappointed. I was also very impressed with Quark Expeditions they were great. I would also like to add that Sarah Dell made the process prior to the cruise a comfortable experience. She responded to my questions quickly and was very patient in going over things that she had already covered months before

Glen Valentine
EM, Antarctica 2022

I want to thank Rockjumper for doing a charter trip to Antarctica, the Falklands and South Georgia! To me sharing the trip with a ship full of birders was the best; 150 birders what could be better... The guides were accessible and helpful, ship was comfortable, food was good, the Quark expedition folks were excellent, the weather cooperated. All around it was a wonderful trip. Worth the wait! Thank you!

Adam Riley
NG, Antarctica 2022

This trip with the guides, Adam and Daniel goes to my top three best trips I have ever taken. The leaders were oh so wonderful, the ship and staff were excellent, and the travel down and back while grueling , occurred without a hitch. As for all the detailed pretrip arrangements, hats off to Sarah who was beyond the pale excellent” in her support and help in “ getting it all done” . Can’t thank everyone enough for all the help, kindness and over riding expertise in making this a once in a life time trip for me!

Adam Riley
JW, Antarctica 2022

This tour was extraordinary, very well organized despite vagaries of the weather at times. The ship crew were very well trained and experienced helping people get on and off the zodiacs. Very smooth operation. The guides Adam and Dan were phenomenal and very helpful in locating fast moving seabirds from a heaving deck! Niki was quietly working behind the scenes making sure everyone was enjoying the cruise.

New Zealand - Subantarctic Islands: Birding Down Under 2024

03 Dec 2024 - 19 Dec 2024 (17 days)

USD15,250 - No Spaces Available


Tour Leader: Expedition Leader

Tour price (Per person): USD15,250 * GBP12,027 * EUR14,089 * ZAR294,630

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Route Map

Tour Route Map