shipwreck watch
sealers shanty
science observer

Thaddeus Bellingshausen: Explorer & Naturalist 1820
Russian explorer and naturalist, Captain Thaddeus Bellingshausen, visited Macquarie Island in 1820. He observed the rather miserable lifestyle of the sealers and traded bottles of rum for animal specimens he later exhibited in Russia.

Wireless Hill - The Australasian Antarctic Expedition (A.A.E.) 1911-14
Dr Douglas Mawson led his first scientific expedition to explore Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. Before leaving Macquarie Island, he built a wireless station to relay messages from Antarctica to Australia and the rest of the world.


Hurley's 'Juvenile' Trick 1911
When photographer, Frank Hurley visited Macquarie Island in 1911, he was so charmed by the beauty of Caroline Cove that he deliberately left a camera lens behind a rock. This gave him an excuse to return there and take more photographs of the Cove.

Hamilton, Blake and Mac, 1911-1913
Biologist, Harold Hamilton and geologist and cartographer, Leslie Blake, spent two years working on Macquarie Island. On many of their expeditions, they were accompanied by their dog, Mac.
Wireless Crew, 1911-1913
Before leaving Macquarie Island for Antarctica in 1911, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (A.A.E.) built a radio station on Wireless Hill. After many months, the tiny radio station achieved intermittent communications with Antarctica. The news from Antarctica, however, was sometimes tragic.
B.A.N.Z.A.R.E. 1930 - Paradise Regained!
Dr Douglas Mawson returned to Macquarie Island in 1930 and was delighted to find that wildlife was flourishing there again. This was largely due to his campaign to have sealing and penguin oiling operations on the island closed down in order to preserve the native wildlife.
A.N.A.R.E. 1948
In 1948 the Australian Government re-occupied the old scientific station on Macquarie Island in order to conduct programs in meteorology and cosmic ray physics, radiophysics, geology, biology and geophysics. The A.N.A.R.E. station is still in operation today.
Isobel Bennett, 1959, Foreshore Ecologist
Isobel Bennett battled the attitudes of the nineteen fifties in order to become one of a group of four women scientists to travel to Macquarie Island with A.N.A.R.E. Wearing only sandshoes, she and the other scientists surveyed the plants and creatures of the foreshore.
Martin Davies, 1980, Archaeologist
Before Martin Davies surveyed the historical sites of Macquarie Island in 1980, expeditioners had been in the habit of collecting historical items and displaying them at the station. Davies recommended that people should leave items where they found them so they could be accurately assessed, and if necessary, properly conserved.
Shipwrecks into Huts - Karen Townrow, 1986-7
Karen Townrow conducted excavations of the known sealing sites on Macquarie Island and obtained samples of wood uncovered in these excavations. These samples were analysed, and Townrow concluded that some shipwreck wood had been recycled into huts.
Terrence Pye - Rat Scientist
The ancestors of today's Macquarie Island rats probably floated ashore on ship wreckage. The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service is now trying to eliminate all rats from Macquarie Island - but in order to do this, they need to know more about the rats' behaviour.
Nelladanae - a new species of 'Waterbear'
A tiny shrimp-like creature or 'waterbear' found at Green Gorge in 1977 has been recently identified as a new species of tardigrade. It has been named 'Vermectias Nelladanae', after Macquarie Island's most recent shipwreck.

The Sealers Legacy - Ferals
Wildlife Management Officer, Geof Copson has been working on programs to eliminate feral animals from Macquarie Island since 1974. During that time, wekas have become extinct and rabbit and cat populations have been dramatically reduced.


Abeline and Other Wanderers
A homing pigeon released near Devonport was found on Macquarie Island. Scientists have also found many smaller life forms wind traps on Macquarie Island.


Ancient Seal Skin clue to extinction puzzle?
In 1998, an old entry in the Caroline Cove log book led zoologist, Sue Robinson, to discover a salted fur skin in a cave once used by sealers. Sue realised that this skin might yield clues as to whether the original species of Macquarie Island fur seal had been exterminated.

Albatrosses, Pirates and Patagonian Toothfish
In the late twentieth centure, fishing fleets have overfished the world's oceans. Macquarie Island's albatrosses and petrels have been serious casualties of modern fishing methods such as longline fishing.