As travel advisors, you are undoubtedly aware of the growing fascination with unique and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Many Travellers yearn for experiences that transcend the ordinary, seeking out adventures that promise unparalleled excitement and discovery. Enter Aurora Expeditions’ latest offering: our Subantarctic Discovery expedition aboard the new purpose-built Douglas Mawson.

This expedition represents our return to the Subantarctic Islands for the first time in 13 years. Protected for their unique environments and significant ecological value, the Subantarctic islands are an under-visited pocket of the world and perfect for the Aurora Expeditions traveller. The rugged beauty of the islands, thrills of its remoteness, and incredible wildlife species – many endemic to the region – make this an Antipodean trip to remember.

With five Subantarctic Island groups – Snares, Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes, and Bounty – there’s an abundance of natural wonders to explore. While the steep cliffs, rocky islets, misty landscapes, and unique flora appeal, the wildlife makes these expeditions exceptional.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the allure of the Australian and New Zealand Subantarctic Islands expeditions with Aurora Expeditions and provide you with valuable tips on how to effectively sell these awe-inspiring journeys to your diverse clientele.

Understanding the appeal of the Subantarctic Islands

The appeal of the Australian and New Zealand Subantarctic Islands lies in their pristine beauty, rich biodiversity, and profound connection to both natural history and human exploration. Read on for an in-depth exploration of each island and why they captivate the hearts of adventurous travellers.

Stewart Island (Rakiura)

As the northernmost of the Subantarctic Islands, Stewart Island offers a captivating blend of rugged coastline and ancient forests. Visitors are enchanted by the sight of blue and yellow-eyed penguins gracefully navigating the pebbled shoreline, while white-capped albatross soar majestically overhead. The island’s untouched landscapes evoke a sense of timelessness, transporting travellers to a bygone era when humans lived in harmony with nature.

Fiordland (Te Rua-o-te-moko)

Fiordland’s breathtaking glacial fjords, deep lakes, and snow-capped Southern Alps create a dramatic backdrop for exploration. Beyond the stunning scenery, the opportunity to encounter playful bottlenose dolphins, lounging fur seals, and migrating humpback whales adds an element of excitement to the journey. Navigating through this picturesque region offers a profound appreciation for the raw beauty of New Zealand’s southernmost reaches.

Snares Islands (Tini Heke)

Situated 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast of New Zealand, the Snares Islands boast a pristine ecosystem teeming with diverse seabird colonies and native Snares penguins. Protected as a pest-free sanctuary, the islands offer a rare opportunity to witness untouched wilderness in its purest form. Exploring the rugged coastline by Zodiac boat allows travellers to encounter curious sea lions and majestic Buller albatross in their natural habitat.

Macquarie Islands

Often referred to affectionately as “Macca,” the Macquarie Islands offer a unique blend of natural wonders and historical significance. Home to four species of penguins and over 3.5 million seabirds, the island’s unspoiled landscape showcases craggy coastal cliffs, rolling hills, and moss-covered valleys. Beyond its natural beauty, Macquarie Island holds a special place in Antarctic polar history, serving as the site of the first radio signal transmission from Antarctica to the rest of the world in 1911.

Visit to Macquarie Island on Subantarctic Discovery is subject to permits.

Campbell, Bounty, Antipodes, and Auckland Islands

These remote Subantarctic Islands offer a treasure trove of endemic species and awe-inspiring landscapes waiting to be discovered. From the fascinating history of Māori navigators who first explored these islands centuries ago to the opportunity to witness unique wildlife found nowhere else on Earth, each island presents a chance for travellers to immerse themselves in the unparalleled biodiversity of the Subantarctic region.

What kind of clients will a Subantarctic Island voyage appeal to?

The allure of the Subantarctic Islands lies in their untamed wilderness, extraordinary wildlife encounters, and profound historical significance, making them a must-visit destination for intrepid explorers seeking an unforgettable adventure.

  • Clients who have a deep appreciation for the natural world and are eager to immerse themselves in pristine wilderness environments will find the Subantarctic Islands irresistible. These types of clients are drawn to the opportunity to witness unique ecosystems, observe diverse wildlife species in their natural habitats, and learn from expert guides about the ecology and conservation of these remote islands.
  • Clients who crave off-the-beaten-path destinations will be enticed by the rugged and remote nature of the Subantarctic Islands. They relish the chance to explore untamed landscapes, navigate through challenging waters, and embark on exhilarating Zodiac excursions to remote shorelines.
  • Clients who value learning and cultural enrichment will appreciate the educational opportunities offered by a Subantarctic Island voyage. They are eager to engage with expert naturalists, historians, and scientists who provide in-depth insights into the ecology, geology, and human history of these remote and isolated islands.
  • Photographers who specialise in capturing stunning images of wildlife and landscapes will be attracted to the Subantarctic Islands for their unparalleled photographic opportunities. From charismatic penguins and soaring albatrosses to dramatic coastal cliffs, these islands offer a wealth of subjects to capture through the lens.
  • In particular, birding enthusiasts will enjoy these islands with their diverse seabird colonies, endemic species, and the opportunity to observe rare and elusive birds in their natural habitat.

Subantarctic Island voyage appeals to a diverse clientele united by their love of nature, adventure, history, education, and conservation. It offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore some of the most remote and untouched regions of the world, leaving a lasting impression on all who embark on this extraordinary journey.

Why should your clients explore the Subantarctic Islands with Aurora Expeditions?

  • With over 33 years of experience exploring the world’s most remote and awe-inspiring destinations, Aurora Expeditions has earned a reputation for delivering exceptional journeys that go beyond the ordinary.
  • Our three new purpose-built ships serve as a comfortable base camp for Subantarctic Islands adventures. Our ships carry on average 132 passengers on the Greg Mortimer and the Sylvia Earle, and on average 154 passengers on the Douglas Mawson (setting sail in 2025). These vessels offer an intimate and immersive experience that is impossible to replicate on larger cruise ships. This allows for deeper connections with fellow travellers and greater flexibility in itinerary planning.
  • With a team of seasoned expedition leaders, naturalists, and historians, Aurora Expeditions ensures that every aspect of the journey is curated to perfection. From lectures on the Subantarctic islands’ geology to help with camera settings, your clients are in capable hands every step of the way.
  • Aurora Expeditions is committed to sustainability and responsible tourism and committed to creating ambassadors for the planet. For environmentally-conscious clients, knowing that their journey contributes to conservation efforts may be a decisive factor.

In a world where authentic experiences are increasingly sought after, the Subantarctic Islands stand as a testament to untouched wilderness and unparalleled adventure. By partnering with Aurora Expeditions, travel advisors can unveil the mysteries of these remote and captivating islands, offering their clients journeys that transcend the ordinary and leave them forever changed.

Explore our Subantarctic Isalands' Program

Our carefully crafted itineraries to Australia and New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands present an unparalleled opportunity to uncover the unique character of each island. We’ve hand-picked some of our favourites for you below, or to view the full range of itineraries, explore our latest brochure. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Business Development Manager or access resources and sales tools in our Travel Advisors Portal.

25-26 Antarctic Season Brochure

Dive into the world’s wildest places in our brand new brochure. Choose from 32 voyages, including 8 new itineraries aboard one of our three purpose-built small ships, including the newly-launched Douglas Mawson.


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