Pebble Island is in the northern portion of the Falkland Islands. The island is comprised of 22,000 acres and has a total length of twenty-four miles, making it the third largest offshore island in the Falklands. The eastern portion of the island is relatively flat and includes numerous small ponds, while the western portion of the island has several hills. This island was the site of a major battle during the 1982 conflict, and a memorial and the wreckage of Argentine aircraft can be viewed.
Nearly all visitors arrive using the government air service. The landing strip is within walking distance of the settlement and is well-maintained.
The numerous small ponds on this island make it an excellent destination for birders. Large colonies of rockhopper penguins, gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins and imperial cormorants are found along the coasts, while turkey vultures, black-necked swans, and other species can be found among the ponds. In addition to wildlife, the island was the site of major combat during the Falklands war, with several memorials and some plane wreckage serving as reminders of the conflict.
- Elephant Beach - This four mile long sand beach is longest sand beach in the Falklands. It is a ten minute walk to the northeast of the lodge. Falkland Islands steamer ducks are often seen on the beach, and Peale's dolphins are regularly seen offshore.
- Big Pond - One of the largest ponds on the island, Big Pond is located approximately one mile east of the lodge along the main landrover trail. The pond is one of the deeper ponds on the island and therefore attracts a variety of diving birds, including white-tufted grebes. When float planes were commonly used in the islands a dock on the western side of this pond was in frequent use, and numerous birds can now be found perched on its remains.
- HMS Coventry Memorial - Located on a hill a few miles west of the lodge, this memorial is for a ship that was sunk during the 1982 conflict approximately ten miles offshore.
- Northwest Coast - The northern shore of the far western side of the island is home to a very large rockhopper penguin colony. This colony has become a favorite among bird-watchers due to a very lost erect-crested penguin (normally found only around New Zealand) who has been here for the past several years. In addition, two pairs of macaroni penguins were nesting here in 2004, another rarity in the Falklands. In January, 2006, there was a possible Snares (or rockhopper hybrid?) sighting.
Landrover tours are available from the lodge:
- Full day tour to the west end of the island to see sand beaches, rockhopper penguins, gentoo penguins, nesting giant petrels, and magallenic penguins. A stop at the beach to search for the translucent pebbles from which the island gets its name, as well as the memorial for the H.M.S. Coventry (sunk during the 1982 conflict), are also included. As of November 2004 costs were £30 per person.
- Half day tour takes in the east end of the island to see black-neck swans, a king cormorant colony, gentoo penguins, rockhopper penguins and magallenic penguins. The route starts out along the longest sand beach in the Falklands and takes in a number of ponds which are home to many ducks, grebes, geese, waders and other birds. As of November 2004 costs were £20 per person.
- Drop-off service is also available for those wanting to hike back to the lodge from points afield. Inquire with Jacqui and Alan as to costs for this service.
The lodge offers souvenirs, including the semi-precious pebbles for which the island was named.
Meals are provided three times a day by the lodge, and the food is excellent. Packed lunches are available each day for visitors who want them.
The lodge offers a small honor bar that includes a variety of beers and soft drinks.
- Pebble Island Lodge, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. There is a fully-catered lodge on the island that offers luxury accommodation in four twin rooms, one double room, and a single room. The lodge has central heating, and all rooms have their own bathroom and shower. 2016 rates: £138 GBP (Nov-Feb), £120 GBP (Oct & Mar). Rates are per person and include full board.
A phone is available. Calling requires a Cable & Wireless phone card.