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Images from the South Australia, Australia
First proposed in 1846 as a colonial settlement, the Southern Whale Fishery Company was granted a Royal Charter with its founder, Charles Enderby, as the resident Chief Commissioner and Lieutenant Governor of the new colony. Charles Enderby was the son of Samuel Enderby, founder of the London whaling company Samuel Enderby & Sons.

Originally known as the Enderby Settlement, it was intended to be the ship provisioning and whaling station in Erebus Cove, Port Ross, a natural harbour at the north-eastern end of Auckland Island and close to Enderby Island. Enderby Island is part of the Auckland Islands archipelago.

Settlement began in December 1849 with the arrival of three ships from Britain, the Samuel Enderby, Fancy and Brisk. In January 1850 the settlement was officially named "Hardwicke", after the Earl of Hardwicke, who was the governor of the company. However, because of the poor soils and harsh climate, with even whaling being unproductive, it was decided to close the settlement as too expensive to maintain. It was abandoned in August 1852, barely three years after its establishment.

A cemetery with graves of shipwreck survivors and a three month-old baby (1850) and signs of the main road are all that remain.

The Auckland Islands group is part of the New Zealand and Australian Subantarctic Islands. The island has the southern most forest, comprised of dense stands of trees known as 'Rata' - Southern Rata (Metrodsideros Umbellata). These trees have bright crimson flowers, that drop to form a thick carpet underneath. The Hardwicke settlement is a good place to see the forest.


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

Site of Hardwicke with Rata blooming in the background
Site of Hardwicke with Rata blooming in the background.
Southern Rata (Metrodsideros Umbellata)
Southern Rata (Metrodsideros Umbellata)
Snapshots from Australia Home > Antarctica > 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

1 Collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library. [Enderby, Charles] 1798?-1876? Attributed works. :[Port Ross, Auckland Islands, Between 1850 and 1852?]. Ref No: A-093-008. Retrieved August 20, 2012
2 The Press: Discovering the frozen continent. Author Peter Campbell. Retrieved August 16, 2012
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