Snares Islands, New Zealand Cruise Port, 2024, 2025 and 2026 Cruises to Snares Islands, New Zealand | The Cruise Web

Snares Islands, New Zealand Cruise Port

The Snares—alternatively known as Tini Heke, or Snares Island, unofficially—is a small island group many miles south of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s also roughly 125 miles south of Bluff, New Zealand’s southernmost city. These islands are all uninhabited and consist of North East Island, Broughton Island and the isolated Western Chain Islands. Despite their diversity and differences in size and topography, the Snares have a collective area of about one and a half square miles. The islands are the proud home of a number of endemic bird species, many of which are named after the particular island on which they’re found, or more likely, the Snares island chain in general. Despite being first sighted in 1791 by the British, it wasn’t until 1998 when the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act officially changed the islands’ name to the Snares. It remains one of the last pristine areas in all of New Zealand.


  • North East Island is the largest and “main” island of the Snares and is a dry, coastal island with a lot of beautiful forestation and coastal vegetation.
  • Some of the endemic bird species include the Snares Island snipe and the Sooty Shearwater puffin, which breed in the millions on North East Island.
  • There are also prominent Snares Penguin colonies on North East, Broughton and the West Chain Islands. The colonies range from around 100 nests to over 1,200 nests.
  • In the 19th century, the islands, then known as Maori, were big into the harrowing whaling and sealing industry. Today, whales and seals can sometimes still be seen from the islands’ shores, but neither species is as prominent as they once were.

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