Beauty of Macquarie Island


The islands of the Pacific Ocean_5



Author: M. Murphy . Source:


Macquarie Island is an Australian island, located southwest of the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, it has been administratively attached to Tasmania since 1890 and has become a reserve Of State in 1978. Since 1973, it has been a member of the Huon Valley Council and has been on the World Heritage List since 1997.

Contour map of Macquarie Island (Author:Mawson, Douglas, 1882-1958)


Macquarie Island was discovered on July 11, 1810 by the Australian Frederick Hasselborough, who was looking for new grounds for the seal hunt. It proclaims British sovereignty over the island and the annex as a colony of New South Wales (The island gets its name from the then New South Wales governor, Colonel Lachlan Macquarie).

In 1890, New South Wales ceded the island to Tasmania, which entrusted it to Joseph Hatch. The latter used the island between 1902 and 1920 to exploit the penguins.

Between 1911 and 1914, the island became a base for Australia’s exploration of Antarctica. In 1911 George Ainsworth ran a weather station on the island. In 1933, the authorities made the island a sanctuary for wildlife based on the Tasmanian Animals and Birds Protection Act of 1928. In 1972 it was erected as a State Reserve.


Wreck of the « Gratitude », Macquarie Island, 1911

( First Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914)

Author: State Library of New South Wales collection, from Australia

The Australian Department of Antarctica (AAD) maintains a permanent base on the island since 1948, responsible for meteorological and relay surveys with Antarctic bases as well as scientific research. There are between 20 and 40 people throughout the year who are the only residents of the island.

macquarieislandisthmusThe base of Macquarie Island, at the northern tip, after a snowfall.

Author: Hullwarren . Source:

Macquarie Island will be returned to its icy solitude in March 2017 with the closure of a scientific base permanently occupied by the Australians since 1948. The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) justified Tuesday this decision by the aging of infrastructures And the too high costs of rehabilitation, due to the risks of environmental pollution and threats of submersion, with the base some meters above sea level.

Macquarie missions will continue to be possible due to the existence of six « cabins » that can accommodate visitors.


Island Trader ship which operates the Port Macquarie Island to Lord Howe Island every two weeks.

Author: Granitethighs . Source:


The island occupies an area of 128 km2, with a length of 34 km and a regular width of 5 km on average. Nearby are two islets: the Judge and Clerk Islets (0.2 km2) to the north and the Bishop and Clerk Islets (0.6 km2) to the south.
The whole is the emerged part of a chain and underwater fault. As a result, the region is subjected to powerful earthquakes (among the most powerful on earth).




Macquarie station, Macquarie Island

Author: Krudller . Source:


Macquarie Island has an extremely windy maritime subantarctic climate with record heat of 14.3 ° C on March 18, 2001 and record cold of -9.4 ° C on July 3, 2003. The average annual temperature is Of 4.9 ° C. The average annual precipitation is 1007 mm.



A plant on Macquarie Island

Author: M. Murphy . Source:


The avian fauna consists of 55 species of seabirds and 80 species of landbirds, many of which are endemic and endangered (30 species are listed on the IUCN Red List). The majority of the nesting species are penguins, Schlegel’s Gorfous – the island of which is their only known nesting site, located slightly above sea level -, petrels, skuas and albatrosses.


Macquarie Island – Royal penguin rookery

Author: M. Murphy . Source:

Scientists today criticized the plan to eradicate hare cats that was carried out in order to preserve seabirds because it eventually favored the explosion of the rabbit population that ravaged the vegetation, which is essential for survival While insects have often lost their wings due to strong wind conditions.


Author (4 photos): Roderick Eime . Source: . Some rights reserved


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