Macquarie Island is a very special and unique place.
It is the only island in the world composed entirely of oceanic crust and rocks from the Earth’s mantle.
Its remote and windswept landscape of steep escarpments, lakes, dramatic changes in vegetation, and the vast congregations of wildlife around its shores make it a place of exceptional beauty.
Macquarie Island is one of only a very few islands in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean where fauna in the region can breed. Around 3.5 million seabirds and 80,000 elephant seals arrive on Macquarie Island each year to breed and moult.
Fur seals are beginning to re-establish populations on the island after nearly being exterminated by commercial sealing operations in the early 19th century.
It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997 in recognition of its geological significance and outstanding natural beauty. It is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is listed in the Australian Government's Register of Critical Habitat because it is the only island under Australian jurisdiction that provides breeding habitat for the wandering albatross and the grey-headed albatross.
These numerous designations reflect the natural values of the reserve and the importance of protecting them for future generations.
Where is Macquarie Island?
Macquarie is a sub-Antarctic island located 1500 kilometres southeast of Hobart, Tasmania. A long, thin strip of land, the island is 34 kilometres long and 3 to 5 kilometres wide, with an area of 12, 875 ha.
Click on the location map to the right for an expanded view of the location of Macquarie Island.
Who manages the Island?
The Tasmanian Government’s Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) manages the island as a nature reserve, and manages the World Heritage values on behalf of the Australian Government.
The Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts maintains an Antarctic Division research station, and a Bureau of Meteorology station.