Bertha's Beach – Falkland Islands - Atlas Obscura
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Falkland Islands

Bertha's Beach

This remote stretch of sand is a penguin lover's paradise. 

This beach is named after the Bertha ship that wrecked on the beach, though the wreck is no longer visible. But a lost shipwreck isn’t its only draw. If you’re a keen birder, this stretch of sand is a must-see.

Bertha’s Beach is classed as both an important bird area and a Ramsar Wetland site because of the various birds that call it home. Head to the beach, and you’ll likely spot penguins waddling around.

A number of Gentoo penguin colonies live on the beach year-round. For about half the year, it’s also frequented by Magellanic penguins. In addition to the penguins, the beach is also home to South American terns, ruddy-headed geese, the endemic Falkland flightless steamer duck, and various other birds.

Although not as reliable as the bird watching, you can often see both Commerson’s and Peale’s dolphins playing and hunting in the surf of the beach. Sometimes the dolphins come close to the shore and essentially surf in the shallows to catch fish before returning to the waves. Although rare, if you are very lucky, you may be able to see beaked, toothed, baleen, or killer whales swimming by.

Additionally, various types of sea lions and seals often come ashore to bask on the beach. The majority of them are harmless, but the leopard seals have been known to bite people who get too close to them.

The flora is just as interesting as the fauna. The beach is also home to over 80 types of plants, with five of them being endemic and the Dusen’s moonwort ferns being very rare.

Know Before You Go

Bertha's Beach is located on the Fitzroy Farm on the East Falkland island but express permission is given to visitors to access the beach via the various signs at the carpark. Be respectful of the animals: do not harass or attempt to approach them. Remember that this is their beach!