Scott Base was established during the summer of 1956–57 with the support of the New Zealand Government to plan and oversee New Zealand’s involvement in the Trans-Antarctic Expedition and the International Geophysical Year.Find out more
Trans-Antarctic Expedition and International Geophysical Year
In 1955, the announcement was made of a Third Polar Year, to be known as the International Geophysical Year (IGY), 1957–58; this was to involve many nations worldwide, and was to focus on geophysical observations around the globe. It was considered that a station on Ross Island ‘would represent an important link in the chain of Antarctic Circumpolar stations and in the meridional chain consisting of the South Polar Plateau stations, Ross Island, Campbell Island, Macquarie Island, Invercargill and Christchurch.’
The New Zealand Government was invited to establish a station on Ross Island as part of the network of stations that would be making geophysical, upper atmosphere and other observations around the globe.
Scott Base is situated on Pram Point, at the southern tip of Ross Island. Mt Erebus is the dominant feature that forms the backdrop of the base.
The TAE/IGY Hut is part of the cluster of green, flat-roofed buildings making up Scott Base. It is sited on the outer south-western side of the base, standing separately but visually still a part of the group of base buildings.
The site today is ‘modern’, bearing little resemblance to its appearance in 1957, when the base consisted of six single-storey buildings connected by a long covered way with the buildings arranged on either side. There were a further three small (and detached) science buildings.
Today the number and scale of the buildings have increased, although the base is still dwarfed by the grandeur of the landscape. Hut A has been moved 40m closer to the shore from its original site, retaining its original orientation so - with the aid of a site plan – you can still picture the original layout of the buildings either side of the spine formed by the covered way.