The Navy frigate Te Kaha in Perseverance Harbour, Campbell Island. Images: Alison Ballance
Earlier this year Alison Ballance (right) stowed her duffle bag in a junior ratings cabin on board the New Zealand Navy frigate Te Kaha, and headed south to New Zealand's subantarctic islands. Operation Endurance was a joint Navy, Department of Conservation and Royal Society of New Zealand expedition to Campbell and Auckland islands, with the primary goal of delivering building material and staff for the construction of a boardwalk on Campbell Island.
Described by the United Nations Environment Programme as "the most diverse and extensive of all subantarctic archipelagos", there are five island groups under New Zealand's jurisdiction: the Bounty Islands, the Antipodes Islands, the Snares Islands, the Auckland Islands and Campbell Island. All were honoured with World Heritage status in 1998, and they are also National Nature Reserves under New Zealand's Reserves Act 1977; entry is by permit only.
Mud on Campbell Island track (top left); existing boardwalk (top right); timber ready for new boardwalk extension - Northwest Harbour and Dent Island in background, and Pleurophyllums in full flower.