New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands - 2008

During our hour and a half visit to this special place, we had alternate rain and sunshine, but we delighted in it all. The thoughtful conservators of Ulva Island have put down gravel paths so there is no slippery mud to contend with and they have bridged all the little streamlets with non- slip materials so there is no fording necessary. If we could have had longer on the island, there were several more trails we could have ambled, but time constraints and the need to share with our fellow passengers constrained us. However, we break out from the forested areas onto Boulder Beach and Sydney Cove where we spotted fairy (blue) penguin footprints and saw a weka pair with their fluffy gray chick. Since the parents are a brown color, we surmised that somewhere along life’s way, the little weka chick will become that same hue. And because Ulva is such a protected habitat, there is no reason to fear that he or she will not grow up and help continue the rise of the weka population here! We were all a little regretful as we left Stewart Island to sail for Dusky Sound and Milford Sound on the Southwest coast of the South Island. But we should have anticipated that there would be some treats in store for us there too. What we did not bargain for was the gushing downpours of rain and heavy clouds that would change the views of these two famous sounds.

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