Heading South

A postcard from Macquarie Island

In the middle of summer, most people head north for warmer weather, the beaches and a cosy family bach. A few years ago I went the other way, to the subantarctic islands. This photo was taken on Macquarie Island which is home to hundreds of thousands of royal penguins, as well as a few thousand king penguins, elephant seals and skua. The official instruction from our guide was to ‘stay five metres from the wildlife at all times’. On a beach that crowded we were lucky to find a metre or two to ourselves and before long we were as close to penguins in the wild as it is possible to be. It was a trip I’ll never forget, and one I’ll always fail to properly describe.

An earlier article about the trip and the birders I travelled with can be found here.