If someone asked you to name UNESCO World Heritage Sites, how many could you get through? Everest, Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef and Galapagos might come to mind, but chances are that the New Zealand subantarctic islands wouldn’t be on that list. Tucked away to the south east of NZ in the roaring forties and furious fifties they are remote, wild, and teeming with wildlife. In short, a photographers dream.
Most NZ and international birders have a visit to the subantarctic islands on their bucket list. I wouldn’t class myself as a birder/”twitcher” but if you are reading this, you’ll know I have an interest in birds. My birding “list” only includes a few locations around NZ and the world I would like to visit for the bird spotting (and photographing) opportunities. The subants or subs (as they’re known to kiwis) are one of these locations.
Comprised of the Snares, Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes and Bounty Islands, access is limited to researchers and a few authorised expeditions. When Heritage Expeditions advertised scholarships for the upcoming season I jumped at the chance. It was also the last year that I would be eligible for their True Young Explorer scholarship as I was almost no longer young; fingers were well and truly crossed.