A rare and dramatic flat-topped volcano home to over 40,000 penguins
Brown Bluff is a great example of a “tuya” - a volcano that has been flattened by erupting through a glacier! These are the rarest of all volcano types and only found in areas that have seen large-scale glaciation in the past.
Brown Bluff with its distinctive “tabletop” look, lies on the Tabarin Peninsula, in the northernmost part of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The landing beach here is made of pebbles and volcanic ash, rising quickly towards steep reddish-brown cliffs. The cliffs are embedded with “volcanic bombs” - large pieces of lava that were thrown out during an eruption, cooling in the air to land as solid spherical or oval shapes.
As well as the fascinating geology, the other star of the show is the birdlife. Brown Bluff is home to over 20,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins, as well as a small colony of gentoo penguins. Other breeding residents include storm petrels, Cape petrels, and kelp gulls.
Weddell seals often haul out on the beach here, and it’s also common to see Leopard seals hunting in the waters close to the shore.
Interesting facts about Brown Bluff
Famously fierce Leopard Seals can sometimes be seen hunting in the waters off Brown Bluff. Watch these fast and fearsome predators in action from the safety of your Zodiac.
Pictures of Brown Bluff
Highlights Close to Brown Bluff
Devil Island, Vega Island
Mawson’s Huts and Cape Denison
Animals in Brown Bluff
Our trips to Brown Bluff