Australians stop by

Two Australian frigates made their way up Pelorus Sound yesterday and anchored off Maud Island last night, "lit up like a Christmas tree" as a DOC ranger on the island described it.

Though there has been no Defence Force briefing on the visit, we are not sure of Maud Island ranger Nio Mana's explanation: "They look a little lost."

The Australian navy ships, with red kangaroos on the funnel, were seen just after lunch by Mr Mana and his crew of volunteer workers on the island.

He said the ships appeared to be just "cruising around, maybe doing a bit of survey work".

A check on a shipping website indicated the ships were the 4200-tonne guided missile frigate Newcastle and the 3600-tonne helicopter frigate Warramunga.

Mr Mana said New Zealand navy ships had been in the Sounds from time to time, and the Australians on at least one other occasion since he'd worked in the area.

The Marlborough Express