• Credit: Pete McClelland, 2013
  • Credit: Pete McClelland, 2013
  • Credit: Pete McClelland, 2013
  • Credit: Pete McClelland, 2013

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Campbell Island

52°32'41" S 169°10'24" N

The New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands consist of five island groups.

  • The Snares
  • Bounty Islands
  • Antipodes Islands
  • Auckland Islands
  • Campbell Island

They lie in the Southern Ocean south-east of New Zealand, spanning six degrees of latitude, from 47 to 52 degrees south.

Described by the United Nations Environment Program as “the most diverse and extensive of all sub-Antarctic archipelagos”, all five island groups were honoured with World Heritage status in 1998. They are also National Nature Reserves under New Zealand’s Reserves Act 1977. The Department of Conservation (DOC) is charged with protecting and preserving these islands in perpetuity.

Of the five islands, DOC has advised that only main Campbell, main Auckland and Enderby are open to visitors. All other island islets and rock stacks are closed, including The Snares.

Campbell Island is about 700 kilometres southeast of the South Island and 270km southeast of Auckland Island, and is New Zealand’s southernmost sovereign territory. It is 44 square miles in area and lies in latitude 52° 30′ S and longitude 169° 8′ E.

Campbell island has a cold, cloudy, wet and windy climate. Receiving only 650 hours of bright sunshine annually, it can expect less than an hour’s sunshine on 215 days of the year. Rain falls on an average of 325 days a year and wind gusts reach over 96km per hour on at least 100 days each year. Variations in daily and annual temperatures are small, with a mean annual temperature of 6°C, rarely rising above 12°C.

High and rugged in the south (up to 1,867 feet), it slopes off more gently to the north where smoothed ridges and open valleys suggest considerable recent glaciation. From 1894 it was farmed, and used for sealing and whaling, wartime coastal defence, and meteorological observation. Campbell Island became a reserve in 1954. It is now an uninhabited nature reserve and World Heritage site administered by the Department of Conservation.

At Campbell Island, visitors can access a boardwalk to the impressive Western cliffs, and look forward to seeing the Royal Albatross, and a range of spectacular megaherbs amongst other rare natural features.

Campbell Island has a number of designated tourist sites primarily based around a historic or natural feature. Each site has an annual and a daily limit on the number of visitors who can land.

At Campbell the landing is primarily on a wharf. While it is nearly an all weather facility, it does require a reasonable level of agility.

Contact your shipping agent for more information.

Campbell Island is best known as the home of the albatross, with six species in residence including the largest albatross, the Southern Royal. Campbell Island also has a long history of sealing, whaling and farming.

Vegetation wise, Campbell Island is known for its megaherbs – herbaceous, perennial wildflowers characterised by their great size, with huge leaves and very colourful flowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands. Campbell Island also has around 128 native vascular plants, which include several endemic herbs and grasses. There are approximately 50 species of introduced plants on the island, largely due to historical farming attempts.

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Upcoming visits

Ship Date Time
L'Austral 16-Jan-2018 0700 - 1900

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