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Goudier Island

Historic Research Station that has been restored as a living museum by the UK Heritage Trust

Information about Goudier Island

Goudier Island is a small, low-lying island of bare, polished rock just 100 yards from Jougla Point in Port Lockroy Harbour. It’s part of the larger Wiencke Island. Often surrounded by sea ice, any snow cover on the island usually melts away by the end of the summer.

Goudier is home to “Base A” - established by the British in wartime in 1944 - which was used as a scientific research station until the early 1960s.

After falling into disrepair, the station was restored in the 1990s and is now looked after by a Heritage Trust. The base is permanently occupied, and its inhabitants still conduct important survey work on the penguin colony for the British Antarctic Survey.

You will usually be briefed by the Base Leader before you land ashore, and only 35 visitors are allowed inside the Base at any time. This is to ensure the artifacts and the fabric of the base are preserved.

This “time capsule” gives a fascinating insight into the work and lives of early Antarctic research pioneers and how they lived on Goudier Island. Access to the rest of the island is usually restricted to marked paths, both to protect wildlife and because the surface is uneven and slippery. However, you will be able to observe the resident penguin colony, and can also spot other birds and seals on the shores and in the sea.

Interesting facts about Goudier Island

“Base A” is designated as Historic Site and Monument No. 61 under the Antarctic Treaty. It is operated by the United Kingdom as a living museum. In addition to Bransfield House (the main base building), there is a boat shed, building foundations and a number of associated artifacts on Goudier Island.

Numbers are restricted so there is often a split, even with smaller groups, with some of the group visiting the base (Port Lockroy) and others visiting the Gentoo Penguin and Antarctic Shag colony around the corner at Jouglar Point. There will then be a shuttle between the different landings and the ship.

Pictures of Goudier Island

Highlights Close to Goudier Island

Port Charcot, Booth Island

Port Charcot is a small bay at the north end of Booth Island. Booth Island is a rocky and rugged Y-shaped island off the Kiev Peninsula in Graham Land. It was first mapped in 1904 when the French Antarctic expedition led by Jean-Baptise Charcot over-wintered here.

After building a few rudimentary shelters and the cairn that can still be seen at the top of the hill, the expedition used Port Charcot as its base for exploring the area, that is close to the Lemaire Channel and the division between the NW and the SW peninsula . There is the remains of a stone hut used for astronomical observations and a wooden pillar with a plaque here where you can still make out the names of the first expedition members who wrote them almost 120 years ago.

In the bay where the Français was anchored (but difficult to reach with the ice) the letter 'F' was carved onto the rocks and can still be seen.

The walk to the cairn is delightful, although you’ll be carefully led by guides as wandering off the path can be treacherous, with loose rocks and crevasses. Visitors can also walk to the east where there is a noisy Gentoo penguin colony. Chinstraps and Adelies can also be seen on the beaches here. If you are lucky, you might get all three together!

From the top the views are stunning, especially the view to the SW, towards Pléneau Island Island, overlooking 'the iceberg graveyard'. This iceberg graveyard can be explored on a spectacular Zodiac cruise, either from ships anchored off Port Charcot to the 'NW' of the Lemaire Channel, or from ships anchored off Pléneau Island and Booth Island that had sailed through through the Lemaire Channel. For full details of this Zodiac cruise refer to the details under Pléneau Island.

Animals in Goudier Island

Our trips to Goudier Island

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