Australia maintains three year-round research stations: Casey, Davis and Mawson and one on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. The population of the stations ranges between 40 and 100 expeditioners over summer and 15 to 20 over the harsh winter months. Each season more than 500 expeditioners travel south with the Australian Antarctic Program.
Antarctica is the most remote and challenging part of the planet. The Australian Antarctic Program has air and sea transport to get expeditioners south and enable them to travel around the continent. The logistical support also ensures the program can undertake wide-ranging marine, ice and aviation-based research and resupply of our stations.
One the ocean, Australia’s Antarctic icebreaker, RSV Aurora Australis, has been the backbone of the shipping system for 30 years. The Australian Government has committed $1.9 billion to design, build and maintain a new ship, RSV Nuyina, which will make her maiden voyage to Antarctic in 2020–21.
In the air, long range aircraft fly people and equipment between Hobart and Wilkins Aerodrome, near Casey research station. The 3.5 kilometre glacial runway operates over the summer months. Smaller planes and helicopters fly between our research stations and field sites.