Johnson’s Harbour and Volunteer Point
Northeast of Port Louis settlement by a good road, Johnson’s Harbour is an essential stop on the Falkland Islands’ tourist circuit for its thousands-strong colony of king penguins, which are present all year, at its easterly Volunteer Point sector. In addition, there are gentoos, Magellanics, cormorants, and many other birds.
The colorful king, the Islands’ largest penguin, has an unusual breeding cycle that can range from 10 months (in the Falklands, at the northern limit of its range) to 14 months (at sub-Antarctic South Georgia). Moreover, that cycle is much less season-specific than that of its migratory counterparts or even the gentoo, which is also present throughout the year. At the site itself, do not enter the stone circle intended to mark an undisturbed king penguin area.
Recently sold to Jan Cheek of Stanley, Johnson’s Harbour is a 36,000-acre (14,570-hectare) sheep farm that charges £15 per person per day to visit the colony. From the settlement, the soggy four-wheel-drive track is open for tour operators only and can be difficult even for locally experienced drivers. The season generally runs November–March; fee camping is possible at the warden’s cottage.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition