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Aurora Expeditions in East Antarctica on the Douglas Mawson

Macquarie Island

Sail to a UNESCO site on your way to Antarctica

Information about Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island, located in the Southern Ocean about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, is a fascinating blend of pristine wilderness and significant historical heritage. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its abundant wildlife and unique ecosystem.

The island hosts large colonies of royal penguins, along with other species such as king penguins and gentoo penguins. These birds thrive in the island's subantarctic climate, nesting amidst the rocky terrain and coastal cliffs. Marine mammals also find sanctuary here, with elephant seals and fur seals utilizing the island's beaches for breeding and resting.

Historically, Macquarie Island was first discovered in 1810 by Captain Frederick Hasselburgh of the ship "Perseverance," who claimed it for Britain. Following its discovery, the island was heavily exploited for its seal population, which nearly led to the extinction of some species. This era of exploitation continued until 1919 when Australia took over administration of the island and began efforts to conserve its natural resources.

Today, Macquarie Island is a hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of biology, climate science, and oceanography. Researchers study the island's unique ecosystem to better understand global environmental processes and the impacts of climate change on remote ecosystems.

In addition to its scientific importance, Macquarie Island is carefully managed as a protected area, ensuring that its wildlife and landscapes remain preserved for future generations. It stands as a testament to the resilience of nature in one of the most isolated and challenging environments on Earth, offering a glimpse into both natural history and ongoing conservation efforts in the Southern Ocean.

Pictures of Macquarie Island

Aurora Expeditions in East Antarctica on the Douglas Mawson
Aurora Expeditions in East Antarctica on the Douglas Mawson
Aurora Expeditions in East Antarctica on the Douglas Mawson

Animals in Macquarie Island

Our trips to Macquarie Island

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