Waking up at anchor in Musgrave Inlet on the east coast of the Auckland Islands, we Zodiac cruised along a steep boulder bank inside a sheltered harbour. Along this coast, we observed the morning routines of the southern rockhopper penguins. From Musgrave Inlet, we enjoyed beautiful views of the interior rātā forest, which is starting to bloom with red flowers. The kelp attached to the rocks swayed rhythmically with every rolling swell.

On the other side of the harbour, we were in awe as the guide drove us through a huge, enclosed archway. Engines were turned off, and we sat and listened to the peaceful drip of the rain into the clear ocean pool.

After lunch, we landed near a sea lion colony at Enderby Island. First, we were greeted by a southern right whale in the shallows. On the island, we walked through an enchanted rātā forest to reach the other side of the island, where we were surrounded by megaherbs and nesting southern royal albatrosses.

On our return, we sat on a grassy knoll overlooking the New Zealand sea lion colony to observe the dynamics between big male bulls and their harems of females and young pups. There was so much to take in before we jumped back into the Zodiacs and returned to the ship for lunch.

From here, we head to Fiordland National Park, where the annual rainfall is nine meters! I wonder if there are any waterfalls?