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Images from the South Australia, Australia
There is a wooden cross on top of Observation Hill, that over looks the American McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica.

Erected in January 1913, the cross commemorates Captain Scott and his party who lost their lives on the return journey from the South Pole in March, 1912. It took two days to carry the cross up to the top of the hill and bears the inscription:

In memoriam Cap. R. F. Scott, Dr. E. A. Wilson, Cap. L. E. G. Oates, Lt. H. R. Bowers, Petty Officer E. Evans R.N.
Who died on the return from the South Pole March 1912.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield…

Before these modern times of air transport and support, GPS and Google maps, explorers had to rely on their own knowledge, skills and abilities. Back in 1911, explorers to this region could not expect immediate help, as quite often, those who ventured south faced hardship, extreme cold and death. Among these were the Antarctic explorers Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Roald Amundsen, who although they may had have different aims, were never the less equally brave men. Amundsen was an adventurer and with his expedition he wanted to be the first man to the South Pole. Scott's expedition was scientific and although he knew of Amundsen's presence in Antarctica, he refused to lower the priority of his scientific research, just to be the first to the South Pole. Scott wrote in his journal:

"One thing only fixes itself definitely in my mind. The proper, as well as the wiser, course for us is to proceed exactly as though this had not happened (the arrival of Amundsen in Antarctica). To go forward and do our best for the honour o the country without fear or panic."

That was not Scott's first trip to Antarctica. The "Discovery Expedition" of 1901-1904 had Scott  chosen to lead it by the joint Royal Society and Royal Geographical Society Antarctic. It was the "Terra Nova Expedition" of 1910-1913 that was to prove fatal. Scott and his party were to reach the South Pole after Amudsen, and it was the return trek that members of the party were to die. Evans was to die first, followed by Oates. The weather was against them and Scott wrote his last diary entry on the 29th March, 1912:

"Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity but I do not think I can write more."

Scott, Wilson and Bowers were found frozen in their tent nearly 8 months later on November 12, 1912.

The Australian Government - Australian Antarctic Division website lists Australian tour operators for the Antarctic. For those planning to include Macquarie Island World Heritage Area, information is available from the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service.


Many thanks to Jennifer Cooke for sharing the story and images of the wonderful tour she went on with Aurora Expeditions to Antarctica.

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Antarctica - Snapshots from Australia

Cross on top of Observation Hill, that over looks the American McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica
Memoriam wooden cross on top of Observation Hill - Images © Jennifer Cooke
Snapshots from Australia Home > Antarctica > 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16


1 Natural History Museum: A walk up Ob Hill. Author Lizzie Thursday 27 March 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2012
2 The Press: Discovering the frozen continent. Author Peter Campbell. Retrieved August 16, 2012
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