Snares Islands: Zodiac Cruising Snares Islands
The Snares Islands are about 210km south of the southernmost tip of New Zealand and consist of two islands and some coastal rocks. Any human landing on the islands is strictly prohibited and only cruising in zodiacs along the shoreline or cruising in a large ship along the coast is allowed. The flora of the Snares Islands is dominated by large tree daisies that cover land mass quite densely. The Snares are free from any introduced species and with no human intervention, the islands are home to many rare and endemic animals. The Snares Crested Penguin is found only here and nowhere else (next post), Buller’s albatrosses nest in the trees, three million sooty sheerwaters breed in burrows on Snares (so it’s like Manhattan for birds), and both New Zealand fur seals and New Zealand sea lions (the latter is the rarest seal in the world) can be seen here. And to top it all off – there are several endemic land birds, and I even got to see one of them – Black Tomtit – in quick flight. The shores of Snares are covered with bright yellow kelp seaweed.