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Southwest Pacific Expedition

July - September 2017

Auckland Museum's Head of Natural Sciences, Tom Trnski, on a surveying expedition at Rangitahua, the Kermadec islands.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

From July 27 until September 5, Auckland Museum led a six-week expedition into the Southwest Pacific to discover more about our big blue backyard. The expedition started in southern New Caledonia and tracked through southern Fiji and Tonga, and ended in New Zealand via Rangitahua the Kermadec Islands.

The 20 strong team of researchers from Auckland Museum, Te Papa, Australian Museum, Massey University, Conservation International and the Sir Peter Blake Trust carried out biological surveys and genetic sampling work to compare the biodiversity, population connectivity and community structure of marine environments in the southwest Pacific region.

A number of projects were carried out during the expedition, including a survey of predator numbers, a visual survey of whales in the region and a large-scale study to document new marine plant and animal species in the area.

During the six week expedition, the team visited dozens of islands and documented their research activity with stunning images, ultra high-definition video footage and 360 degree videos, captured by Kina Scollay and Richard Robinson.


  • Follow the expedition

    Follow our blog series for the latest news from the South West Pacific Expedition.

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  • Meet the team

    Meet the multi-disciplinary team of researchers who'll be investigating the marine plants and animals around the Southwest Pacific.

    Read more



The Southwest Pacific Expedition is supported by Auckland Museum Institute, The James Searle Say Foundation managed by Perpetual Guardian, and C&L Gregory Trust.