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One of the great tourism frontiers for travellers, explorers and adventurers is Antarctica, Earth's southernmost continent. Located in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, it is home to the geographic South Pole. This remote region is popular with tourist seeking an experience that is different and memorable.

Departing from Bluff, New Zealand, our sturdy ice-strengthened and helicopter-equipped ship Marina Svetaeva will carry us across the spectacular Southern Ocean via New Zealand's Subantarctic islands and thence to the Ross Sea. Antarctica's Ross Sea coast offers spectacular scenery, prolific wildlife and a glimpse of the Golden Age of Exploration. Massive icebergs break away from the Ross lce Shelf, while active Mt Erebus and the Transantarctic Mountains provide a glorious backdrop to the expedition huts of Scott and Shackleton. Each day will bring new insights into the lives of whales, seals and birds, glaciology, and the history of Antarctic exploration.

Source: Ross Sea Exploration: Expedition Notes - Aurora Expeditions

Whilst there are tours that can fly to Antarctica, many visitors prefer the experience of reaching Antarctica by ship, with a number of operators available dependent on your route. The best times for visiting the Antarctic Peninsula is usually between mid-November and early March. East Antarctica is less accessible, with the best time to visit being late December to March.

Surrounded by the Southern Ocean, the experience as you approach by ship affords the pleasure of seeing the land from the ocean, the icebergs and the ocean wildlife.

Make sure you are well prepared for this trip of a lifetime, even though it may be summer in Antarctica, it is still very cold down under. You will need the thickest and heaviest winter jackets, thick gloves, reliable snow boots, and waterproof gear. Make sure you have good sunglasses that block out all the sunlight, as the light reflecting off the ice can be blinding and damage your sight. You may want to consider binoculars, and don't forget to pack your camera with plenty of memory cards and backup batteries, as the photos will be your memories to share of a trip of a lifetime.

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. You can also find more information about Antarctica, tour operators and related links from the main section of our site.


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

Marina Svetaeva in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica Icebergs, Antarctica Zodiac inflatables in Antarctica Minke whale in the waters of Antarctica
Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) Emperor Penguin in Antarctica King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
Juvenile Royal Penguin Gentoo Penguin on Macquarie Island Weddell Seal in Antarctica Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina)
Brown Skuas or Southern Skuas also known as the Subantarctic Skua (Catharacta skua lonnbergi) South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) Cross on top of Observation Hill, that over looks the American McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica Sea Lions in Antarctica
Leopard Seal, having hauled itself through a hole in the ice Midnight sun over the Drygalski Ice Tongue Dry Valleys, Antarctica
Royal Penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli) Adélie Penguins at Cape Adare Sunset over Mount Erebus Site of Hardwicke with Rata blooming in the background.\
Images © Jennifer Cooke
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