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Deborah Nation joins ecologists Bruce Thomas and Rowley Taylor on an excursion out of Doubtful Sound to various islands in South West Fiordland.

Headlamp-wearing creatures fossicking through undergrowth, must surely startle local inhabitants sleeping peacefully on the remote islands of South West Fiordland.

The visitors are a group of paying travelers joining an ecology tour hosted by long-time conservationists Ruth and Lance Shaw on their ocean-going motor-sailing yacht Breaksea Girl.

Guided by eminent scientist and historian Rowley Taylor and his longtime friend and colleague Bruce Thomas it' s a chance to see seabirds and wildlife up close and personal.

Counting the vast numbers of seals which inhabit the now rat-free areas, and searching for weevils that only come out at night, and skinks that come out with the sun, all requires careful organization and good humour, as the group slowly become the best of friends in this stunning and remote setting.