A day at Estancia Harberton

Arbol bandana or flag tree sculpted by the wind

Ushuaia in deepest Patagonia is a place that is well worth a stay for a few days to enjoy the local attractions. There are far fewer tourists than further north in Patagonia and the landscape is different. As well as walking in Tierra del Fuego, I particularly enjoyed our day to Estancia Harberton with Canal Fun.

We began our day visiting the rather macabre but very well guided Museo Acatushin. Here we learned that the local coast has so many washed up and stranded whales and dolphins that they can’t afford to move them and often have to leave them rot. And that because it’s so cold with few insects and bacteria dead animals just hang around for years.

A dolphin skull being prepared for examination. Photo from Ian Carvell

After a nice picnic lunch (with a lovely Malbec) we took a boat to Isla Martillo to see the Magellanic Pengiuns. Unlike the sprinkling of penguins we saw in New Zealand this time we got to see a full colony at rest. Mothers, fathers and huge chicks all kicking back on the beach. It was pretty sweet.


Magellanic pengiun colony

Once we had snapped the penguins to our hearts content we made our way to Gable Island where we were able to hike and enjoy the natural flora. We saw low beach forests, edible fungus and trees once used to cure scurvy.


View from Gable Island

We finished our day by returning via the water to have a brief tour of the ranch house garden.

The garden at Estancia Harberton


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