Popular but prohibited access for much of the summer - and can be difficult to access otherwise.
Rating: * * * *
Hannah Point is possibly the best spot for a wildlife spectacular in the South Shetlands. Sweeping views are a backdrop to masses of wildlife flying, waddling, swimming and sitting on every exposed surface.
Where is it?
Hannah Point is in the middle of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands. The point marks the eastern end of Walker Bay and the western point of South Bay.
Hannah is renowned for unsuccessful approaches to attempt landings. Waves and weather from the Drake Passage and Bransfield Strait often curl around the point, making the beach a ‘no go’ zone. Once on shore, time limits and activities are extremely controlled in order to protect the masses of wildlife. Staying with guides and following the limited number of permitted paths can be very frustrating, but the alternative is to not visit this special place at all.
Over 1,500 breeding pairs of Gentoo penguins and 1,000 pairs of Chinstrap penguins make the rocks of Hannah Point home. Some years one, two or even three pairs of Macaroni penguins nest in with the Chinstraps, but this is getting less consistent in recent years.
There is a large Southern giant petrel colony along the ridges above the penguins (note these birds are very sensitive to disturbance, please keep proper distances) and the usual scattering of Kelp gulls and Snowy sheathbills. A small colony of Antarctic cormorants are on the outer edge of the point.
This location has one of the consistently occupied Southern elephant seal wallows in the South Shetlands. Normally, 10-20 individuals, or more, can be found lounging in their own wastes just past the Gentoos, and more will haul out along the beach towards Walker Beach, further into Walker Bay. By the end of summer, Antarctic fur seals will also be common.
One of the less visually spectacular, but biologically important, aspects of this landing is the easily spotted presence of both species of Antarctic flowering plants: Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica can be found flourishing along the walking trails.
The South Shetlands were heavily explored and utilised by early sealers and whalers, and Hannah Point is named after a sealing vessel from Liverpool which was wrecked on the point in 1820.
Photos, Voting and more coming soon!
Official Guidelines: Click Here
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.