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The Explorers' Bases


At the turn of the twentieth century, Antarctica was the focus of one of the last great races of exploration and discovery. The ‘heroic age’ of exploration (1897 – 1917) saw a number of men risk their lives to conquer the last great land frontier on earth — Antarctica.

This era of exploration typified leadership, courage, passion, sacrifice and sometimes tragedy. These expeditions, led by famous explorers including Sir Ernest Shackleton, Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen, built simple wooden bases from which they set out to explore the continent.

Antarctica remains the only continent on Earth where human’s first dwellings still stand. A century on, four bases remain in the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica crammed full of supplies and equipment left behind by the heroic-era explorers. They have been described as the most evocative heritage buildings in the world.


In the 1950’s the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955 – 1958 and the International Geophysical Year New Zealand party 1957 - 1958 explored and mapped considerable areas of the Ross Sea region. They also established New Zealand’s Scot Base. The original hut remains.

The Bases Under Our Care