Today we’re travelling south towards Tauranga, with an ETA of midnight tonight. A harbour pilot will escort us to land about 7 am tomorrow morning. A bunch of dedicated souls is still glued to the front of the ship, spotting birds and whales.
The Kermadec Islands are a very precious part of New Zealand. I feel blessed to have experienced so many of their treasures in the skies, the land and under the sea. If you ever get the chance to come here, leap at it. Better still, put it on your bucket list!
For this last blog, I’ve collected highlights from my fellow travellers that capture the range of experiences we’ve enjoyed in the last 10 days.
“Looking over the crater lakes from the top of the track was my highlight. It was fantastic just to see the views and that wild volcanic activity from above.”
“The highlight for me was the bottlenose dolphins bow-riding, especially the huge pod we saw, with all the calves. It was fantastic! Just beautiful to see them in the sea doing their own thing in the wild.”
“Seeing and photographing the Kermadec storm petrel did it for me. It’s unique to the Kermies and the only place you can see it is here – that was the whole idea of this venture!”
“The Norfolk Island connection was important to me. As a child, I grew up knowing Roy Bell, so it was an amazing experience to see where he grew up and appreciate how difficult it must have been.”
Robert, Norfolk Island
“I’ve always been a traveller. I travel with little anticipation but a lot of research. The Kermadecs delivered much enjoyment – other people and learning from them, the physical aspect with the bush and understanding the geological basis for the activity we see. It’s been a great trip.”
“I’ve got 12 new ticks on my New Zealand bird list!”
“Highlights for me were seeing a false killer whale, all the kakariki and the regeneration of the forest of Raoul – and not falling in the tide!”
“It’s really hard to find a highlight amongst a huge number, but for me was swimming with Galapagos sharks – I never thought I would be able to do that – and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“Standing on the ship’s front deck at dawn, listening to the birds on the Meyer Islands wake up was very cool.”
“The most awesome thing was climbing up the cliff at Landing Rock on my hands and knees, hanging onto a rope.”
“Seeing the Kermadec storm petrel was my highlight – and believing in magic again.”
“For me, it’s about undiscovered history. The Kermadecs have been there for millennia but we didn’t know about them. Now we do. We come away from places like Raoul as the same people but we’re changed because we’ve discovered history that we should have know about but didn’t. I know a huge amount more now than I did before.”