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Macquarie Island

After sailing for three days from Hobart we arrive at Macquarie Island.

Macquarie Island
Approaching Macquarie Island from the north-west

We take a zodiac cruise in Lusitania Bay where there is a huge colony of king penguins.

Lusitania Bay
Lusitania Bay

There are so many penguins here that we probably couldn’t land even if we wanted to.

King penguin rookery
King penguin rookery in Lusitania Bay

The penguins come out to meet us instead. The swam up close to the boat and the zodiacs.

King penguin in the water
King penguin swimming

The next day we landed at Sandy Beach where more king penguins came out to meet us.

King penguins
King penguins on the beach

These penguins really look like people wearing a dinner jacket (tuxedo)!

King penguins
More king penguins

Although we were not allowed to go closer than 5 meters to the wildlife, they were allowed to walk up to you.

Closeup of King penguins
Three King penguins

No one needed to be reminded about the 5 meter rule when it came to the elephant seals.

Elephant seals in the grass
Elephant seals lying in the grass

The elephant seals were everywhere, including in and around the Australian base on Macquarie Island.

Elephant seals near the base
Male Elephant seals showing whose boss

It is obvious why they are called elephant seals.

Elephant seal
Elphant seal yawning

In the hills behind Sandy Beach there was a large royal penguin rookery.

Royal penguin rookery
Royal penguin rookery behind Sandy Beach
Royal penguin rookery
Royal penguin rookery

Penguins mostly live out at sea, but come ashore to lay their eggs and raise their chicks. This was towards the end of the royal’s breeding season and the chicks have nearly lost all their down feather.

Royal penguin chicks
Royal penguins and chicks
Royal penguin
Royal penguin
King penguin
King penguin

On Sandy Beach is another king penguin rookery.

King penguin
King penguin on Sandy Beach