Bill and Mabel's New Zealand Adventures travel blog

Tuatara Exhibition at the Southland Museum in Invercargill, NZ

We stopped to see Henry, the 140+ Year Old Tuatara

Our First View of Henry, as he Was Coming Out for the...

We Were Given Up Close Views of Henry

Henry and Another Lizard, Named Steve?

Our Stateroom Berths (His and Hers)

Our Stateroom Bathroom


The day began with breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We joined the rest of the group at 9:30 and walked to the Southland Museum to view the Subantarctic display. We spent a lot of time with the Tuatara display. The Tuatera is a reptile that is endemic to New Zealand which, though it resembles most lizards, is not one. Tuatera lived over 200 million years ago and the ones we saw are one of two that are still living. The name "tuatara" derives from the Māori language, and means "peaks on the back". The Tuatera at the Museum, Henry is estimated to be between 120 to 140 years old. The curator spent about an hour with us, with Henry out of his exhibit. The Museum also gave us a special showing of their Sub-Antartic presentation.

We walked by ourselves around the Royal Gardens and visited the Aviary there. We could take a bus back to the hotel, but we chose to walk back, as we might not have the opportunity to enjoy a good weather stroll for a while.

We had lunch at the hotel for a mixed buffet offering. Afterwards, we were transferred to the Port of Bluff, 27 kilometres south of Invercargill. We went through a photo identification verification to gain entry into the port. When we were cleared, we were able to board the ship, the Spirit of Enderby. On board, we had to clear Customs. After we cleared, we were able to settle into our cabin.

The cabin had upper and lower berths, two windows and an ensuite bathroom. This was very important, as some cabins had to share their toilets and showers with others. Within the first hour, we conducted saftey briefings and had an actual evacuation drill. The life boat was covered with a hardshell roof, had food to last one week and could hold 50 people. It would get pretty close on there, really quickly! [Later on, Mabel checked the passenger list to see who was assigned to our life boat. The good news was, that anyone who would get on your nerves quickly, was in the other life boat!]

We left Bluff, NZ on the Spirit of Enderby on our Subantarctic Island Expedition in route to the Snares Islands. Within the first hour of sailing, the ship lurched, and Bill flew off the chair he was in, hit the door jamb and cut the back of his head. He required stitches to close the cut, but had no concussion. We arrived at the Snares Islands with no further instances, but the sea was a little rough through the night.



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