In 1773, after four months battling storms in the Southern Ocean, Captain Cook took refuge in a remote fjord on the tip of New Zealand’s South Island. He spent the following six weeks charting Dusky Sound – as he’d named it in 1770 on his first voyage to the islands – noting the “deafening” noise of the native birds. Dusky Sound remains one of the remotest parts of New Zealand, but has not been immune to mankind’s encroachments: the introduction of non-endemic predators such as rats, stoats and possums has taken a devastating toll on the birds that sang so loudly.
To help fund the bird-conservation projects of local NGO Tamatea, travel company New Zealand in Depth has launched a five-day, four-night adventure to Dusky Sound aboard an ex-Navy exploration vessel. Guests will arrive by helicopter and take a hands-on part in the NGO’s work – the trip costs £1,900 (excluding international flights).