Stewart Island / Rakiura

We made our way to Stewart Island, also known as Rakiura by the Maori people who arrived from Polynesia about 800 years before Captain James Cook claimed it for the British Crown. It is the 3rd largest of the New Zealand islands measured by size. But the population is only about 400 people.  So, we docked in the Tasman Sea and took tender boats over to the island to look around, which took all of 5 minutes, and then we were off with a local on a boat ride in the Tasman Sea.

 

While cruising around the Tasman Sea we were able to see a bunch (actually a rookery) of Albatross searching for fish, made easier for said Albatross by the ship’s mate who tossed fish over the side to attract them. If you get a close up look at these birds you understand why you don’t want an Albatross around your neck. They are big and aggressive, with large beaks which they do not hesitate to use.

 

We were also able to sail by the rock formation where the penguins hang out in the neighborhood, and saw lots of them, maybe numbering about 100.  After that we headed back to the big ship to continue to sail on to Dunedin, which we reached the next morning.

 

Here are some photos of Albatross, Penguins and rock formations in the Tasman Sea.

Penguins Hanging Out on their Favorite Rock
A Pair of Albatross
Rock Formation in the Tasman Sea
Albatross Makes Off with Food

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