Aurora Expeditions’ passenger, Peter Wood, has won the 2018 Australian Antarctic Festival Photography Competition in the People’s Choice category for his stunning Leopard Seal Haven photo. Peter received the amazing news whilst onboard our Jewels of the Arctic voyage this year.


Leopard Seal Haven


The winning photo by Peter Wood: Leopard Seal Haven

The Australian Antarctic Photography Competition is held by the Australian Antarctic Festival which takes place in Hobart annually and celebrates the work of scientists who work on the remote continent of Antarctica.

Peter took the winning photo on a trip to Antarctica with Aurora Expeditions in 2016 with son, Patrick. Peter and Patrick travelled aboard the Polar Pioneer on Aurora Expeditions’ South Georgia and Antarctic Odyssey lead by naturalist and Expedition Leader, Dr. Gary Miller and Assistant Expedition Leader, Dr. Robyn Mundy.

Peter explains the story behind Leopard Seal Haven:

“My son Patrick and I took off to Ushuaia in January 2016 to join Aurora’s Antarctica and South Georgia Odyssey. It was our first such adventure and expectations (and excitement) were high. I bought a digital SLR for the trip and gained a few tips before we left but had no prior experience or know-how in photography. Just hoping to fluke some nice pics to share with others on our return.

The trip, led by Gary and Robyn, literally blew us away. This photo was taken at Point Wild on Elephant Island as we followed Shackleton’s tracks. The iceberg was superb, and the seal kindly popped up just as I raised my camera. Pure luck! But we had this luck at every landing and every Zodiac cruise throughout the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia.

I learned of the Antarctic Festival in Hobart this August and its photo competition through my daughter Tamara who had just moved to Hobart to live. Winning the People’s Choice Award from all the amazing photos on display was as unexpected as the seal photo bombing my iceberg shot. But it shows that anyone can capture great moments on polar voyages with Aurora Expeditions by simply taking part in these adventures.”

Congratulations Peter!


Peter and Patrick Wood


Peter Wood (l) and son, Patrick (r) on our Jewels of the Arctic voyage.

What causes these beautiful jade stripes in the icebergs, you may ask? The jade colour in the iceberg is caused by frozen seawater which freezes to the bottom of a floating ice shelf. The colour can range from blue to green, depending on the tiny particles inside it such as dissolved yellow organic matter from dead plankton cells. The stripes are caused by seawater seeping into vertical cracks that occur when the ice shelf breaks away from land and eventually freezing into a dark stripe. Striped icebergs are also unique to Antarctica.

If you’d like a leopard seal to photobomb your photos too, check out our range of Antarctic voyages and special offers:

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