Did you know that Australia lays claim to 42 percent of Antarctica?

If you really want to come to grips with how this happened – the trials, tribulations and sheer heroism that was required to bring it about – you need to visit Mawson’s Huts. But make sure you take a coat.

Located at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay in the far eastern sector of the Australian Antarctic Territory, Mawson’s Huts are a collection of buildings built by geologist and explorer Douglas Mawson, who led the Australian Antarctic Expedition in 1911.

They’re one of just six complexes still surviving from the “Heroic Era”, during which Antarctica was the last continent to be explored.

Once you get to Mawson’s Huts, of course, there’s a great deal more to explore – a whole continent in fact. But you can’t say you’ve seen everything important and unusual in Australia until you’ve been down to Commonwealth Bay.

Did you know?
Commonwealth Bay, the location of Mawson’s Huts, is considered the windiest place on earth.

How to get there
Aurora Expeditions offer voyages to Commonwealth Bay by ship, departing from Hobart.

There are also other companies that offer expeditions to Antarctica, departing from Argentina. See the web links below for more information.


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Best time to go
Due to the incredibly cold Arctic winter, most expeditions take place in summer, between November and March, when there are 18-24 hours of daylight.

Further information
Useful websites:

Offers expeditions to Commonwealth Bay

Antarctica Sightseeing Flights is operated by Croydon Travel in Victoria, in conjunction with Qantas

Offers expeditions departing from Argentina

Offers expeditions departing from Argentina

Website detailing the history and restoration of Mawson’s Huts

** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.

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