Neko Harbour is an inlet of the Antarctic Peninsula on the west coast of Graham Land. It gets its name from a Scottish whaling boat, the Neko, which operated in the area between 1911 and 1924. The Harbour consists of a beach and small rocky outcrop backed by towering peaks and surrounded by thundering glaciers which regularly calve into the sea. The spectacular scenery and crumbling glaciers are the main draw to this remote outpost. However, it is also a wildlife hotspot. Neko Harbour is classified as an important bird and biodiversity area because it supports a breeding colony of more than 250 pairs of gentoo penguins. Southern giant petrels and south polar skuas also nest at the Harbour, and it is used as a haul out by weddell seals.
Average rating: 4.0 (very good)
Average cost: getting to this remote and spectacular location is not easy and it is not cheap. The only way to visit is through organised cruises which are likely to start at a minimum of around $12,000.
Best time to visit: the best time to visit Antarctica is from October to March. For the rest of the year, it is pretty much inaccessible for all but the most intrepid of explorers. December and January are usually the prime penguin viewing months.
How to get there: there are no scheduled passenger flights or ferries to or from Neko Harbour. Most visits are arranged through cruise liners which typically leave from the southern Patagonian port of Ushuaia and stop off at a number of key spots in the Antarctic region. For more information on arranging a trip to the Antarctic check out this resource.
Typical activities: bird watching, boat trip
Number of reports: 1
Last update: 2022
WILDLIFE IN Neko harbour
According to reports submitted to WildSide, the most popular species that can be seen here are:
Gentoo Penguin – 100% OF wildside users (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS
The main wildlife attraction at Neko Harbour is the population of gentoo penguins. Around 250 breeding pairs of gentoos call the Harbour home. You can tell them apart from other penguins by the white stripes running from eye to eye across the tops of their heads. They are easy to spot on a trip to the Harbour, nesting on the hill near the beach to avoid being washed away by waves generated by the calving glacier. Look out for meals stealing stones from nearby nests and using them to court favours from the females!
Photo Credit: Pablo Fischer under a Creative Commons licence from Flickr