Macquarie Island
Fahan School

Susan and Fflur

Fahan Creations: ‘Macquarie Island’

Our Macquarie Island Project

Email Our Team Advisor

Fahan School Web Page


About Us:

Hello. Our names are Fflur and Susan and we are the Fahan Creations web team. We are currently studying Multimedia, at Fahan School. We are 16 and 17 years of age and are both interested in multimedia studies later in life. We plan to complete V.E.T Certificate IV next year, again at Fahan School. We enjoy the challenges of web design and graphic manipulation. This was an interesting project for us to work on.


What we learnt about Macquarie Island:

Whilst working closely with the writers we learnt a great deal about the history of Macquarie Island. Through the stories and the Information Hut we learnt what life must have really been like for the sealers, scientists and other people living on the island from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.

The wild life on Macquarie Island also interested us greatly. The fact that feral animals, such as cats and rabbits have damaged much of the flora and fauna on the island concerned us greatly. Macquarie Island is a serene place with a small community of people living there annually.

The journals we read about the island gave us insights into the everyday lives of the Sailors, Sealers and Scientists who visited the island more than 100 years ago.

The photographs of the shipwrecks on the island and offshore, helped us understand just how influential the climate is on the sub Antarctic islands.

We learnt that severe storms around the area are not uncommon. Temperatures dropped well below 0°C, which made life very uncomfortable for the residents of the island.

In our development of the Macquarie Island web page one of our challenges was to accurately portray the information that we were provided to an audience of students and adults.


Hints and Tips:

One of the most important tips we can offer those who are preparing to make their own web pages is to plan your site carefully. Before we began our work on Macquarie Island we used the concept mapping program 'Inspiration' which allowed us to plan our pages and links carerully. If we had not spent time doing this to begin with we would have had les of an idea about the layourt of our site.

Within our site you can find lots of information about the history of Macquarie Island.

The "Journals" contain stories about the people and events which make the history of Macquarie Island so interesting. The journals are in pdf formal and therefore you will require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. They have been divided into three sections.

  • The Shipwreck Watch - learn about the many shipwrecks around Macquarie Island and read the stories of survivors.
  • The Sealers' Shanty - tales of sealers and stowaways and their lives on the Island.
  • The Science Observer - find out about scientists and their discoveries on Macquarie Island.

For a bit of fun and games check out the Challenges page, where you can find quizes and games. You will require the Macromedia Flash 4 plugin for most of the games to work. This can be found at All the answers to the two quizzes can be found within the many journals, so get reading!

The Mysteries page contains links to interesting stories which contain a mystery which to this day is yet to be solved...

Get out of the cold and into the Information Hut! Here you will find all the facts and figures about Macquarie Island - a database of shipwrecks, Antarctic Circumpolar Currents, weather details, a glossary and more.


Hobart Gateway to Macquarie Island and Antarctica

The following three panoramas have been included to provide a view of Hobart city and the docks where many of the early sealers scientists and sailors would have boarded ship on their way to Macquarie Island. You will need Quicktime 4 to view these panoramas.

Panorama One (624 k) A view of Hobart from Mount Nelson as it might have looked one hundred years ago.
PanoramaTwo (692 k) A view looking down the Derwent River and around to Mount Wellington in 2000.
PanoramaThree (726 k) The Aurora Australis at the Hobart docks near Salamanca

Overseas Community Communications Link:

For a number of years we have both taken an interest in Antarctic studies. Our first contact with the Antarctic community of scientists was in Year 6 when we conducted an email link with Mr Mike Craven, a glaciologist, working for the Antarctic Division in Kingston, Tasmania.

Mr Craven was working as a glaciologist and conducted the first glacial study of the Lambert Glacier, the largest single glacier in the world. During our studies with Mr Craven he emailed us information about his studies during his three month trek around the glacier. Our email link with Mr Craven lasted for four months and during this time our class completed projects including the summer melting of the ice shelf, and the life cycle of the emperor penguin.

On completion of our studies in Multimedia over the past two years we will have both completed vocational placement with the Antarctic Division in Kingston, furthering our interest in this area.


Project Overview

1. Our Entry:

We entered our Web site as students from Fahan school: For the purpose of our work on the 'Macquarie Island' Internet pages, we have called ourselves Fahan Creations

2. Description of "The Macquarie Island Community"

The Macquarie Island community was made up of Sealers, Scientists and Sailors.

Sealers of the Island included people such as Joseph Hatch and Allan Villiers. Joseph Hatch was a chemist, businessman, politician and brilliant public speaker. Joseph Hatch quite literally sank a small fortune in the Macquarie Island oiling industries. He made many enemies along the way, including Sir Douglas Mawson.

Allan Villiers was a writer and whaler who visited Macquarie Island with a Norwegian whaling fleet, and later wrote a comic description of the islands' 'little Charlie Chaplins' - the penguins.

Scientists of the island included people such as Scobie Pye, a rat scientist, and Martin Davies, an Archaeologist.

Scobie Pye researched the original Macquarie Island rats, which probably floated ashore on ship wreckage. The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service is trying to eliminate the descendants of these rats from Macquarie Island - but in order to do this, they need to know more about the rats' behaviour.

Before Martin Davies surveyed the historical sites of Macquarie Island in1980, 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.

The shipwrecks of Macquarie Island also formed a part of the Macquarie Island history. Such shipwrecks included the Bencleugh and Kakanui.

The crew of the Bencleugh miraculously dragged themselves to an icy shore after their schooner was wrecked at Middle Beach. With very little to eat, no boots and few clothes, they spent several cold months marooned on the island.

Relatives of stranded sealers asked the New Zealand Government to send a relief ship to Macquarie Island. The Kakanui collected the gang from Lusitania Bay and sailed into a storm, never to be seen again.

These people went to make up the community on Macquarie Island.


3. Summary of Our Project:

We, Susan and Fflur at Fahan School in Sandy Bay have been researching and gathering information from those associated with the project. Our Learning21 web page gave us a chance to interview those concerned with the project. Both Anne Morgan and Glyn Roberts as writers and researchers were wonderful to work with. We also had a chance to work with other informed individuals. We learnt a lot about Macquarie Island and the Sealers, Sailors and Scientists.

The computers and other technologies we had access to allowed us to build the Macquarie Island web which will now be available to be others for viewing and to gain a further understanding of the island.

Our project enabled us to use the following software applications:

  • Macromedia Flash 4
  • Macromedia Fireworks 3
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver 3
  • Adobe Photoshop 5.02
  • QuickTime
  • MediaCleaner Pro
  • Adobe Acrobat 4
  • Apple Quicktime VR v 1.1

The hardware we utilised included:

  • A Sony Mavica digital camera
  • Scanners
  • Apple G4 Computer
  • Windows 95 PC Computer
  • Panohead and tripod for Quicktime VR panoramas

4. Our Internet Access:

Fahan School is connected to the Internet via a 64K ISDN line. We FTP our site to an external ISP — Tasmanian Access Server.


5. Problems We Had To Overcome:

Image compression - was one of the major problems we came across in the duration of the web page project. Due to the large number of photographs we received from people who had been to the island, and from the writers themselves, we were faced with a dilemma over whether to use all the images we wanted. If we did this the files would be slow loading and we would risk people leaving before viewing the site, or to use photographs but compress them, and use less than we wanted. We decided on the latter.

Sound Compression - was also another major problem we faced. The introductory sea shanty was a large file. We had to choose the best way to put the file on our web page without sacrificing too much time for download. In the end we used Quicktime 4.0 to stream the music so as no time would be wasted when downloading the opening music file.

Overwhelming amounts of Information - were given to us to be placed in the web site. This information came from various sources and had to be summarised so as to create an informative and entertaining web site.

Making information appealing - was also a major milestone we had to overcome. We had so much information and we needed to make this informative information appealing, even to those in the younger grades, as low as Year 7. We overcame this problem by creating several games and interactive challenges such as assisting an Albatross Land and a series of interactive quizzes. These games were created using Macromedia Flash 4.0.


Thankyou for viewing our work. If you would like to make any suggestions as to how we might improve our pages, please fill in the comments form below. We would value your suggestions.

Susan and Fflur






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