Discovery Hut, Hut Point
This is the base associated with Commander Robert Falcon Scott's National Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition 1901–1904. The expedition included a major programme of science and was a landmark in British Antarctic exploration, resulting in Scott returning to Britain as a hero. His base became an important staging post for every subsequent heroic-era expedition.Find out more
National Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition
Robert Falcon Scott’s National Antarctic Expedition 1901–04, a joint initiative between The Royal Geographical Society and The Royal Society, was the second expedition to winter over on the Antarctic continent, and the first to carry out significant exploration and serious scientific research.
Three of the most famous men in Antarctic exploration – Scott, Shackleton and Wilson – achieved a furthest south sledging journey of 82º 16’ S in the summer of 1902–03. On 9 January 1902, a stop was made at Cape Adare where the record left by Borchgrevink was found, and on 4 February, during flights by Scott and Sub-Lieutenant Ernest Shackleton RNR in a hydrogen balloon over the Ross Ice Shelf, Shackleton took the first aerial photographs of Antarctica. On the expedition’s return home, 11 volumes of scientific results were published and Scott was welcomed as a national hero.
The Discovery expedition included 47 officers and men, 30 from the Royal Navy, the others a mixture of Merchant Navy and Royal Marine, along with five scientists and four civilians.
The expedition base at Hut Point was later used by three other heroic-era expeditions, all of which left their mark on the hut and its contents. Today, Scott’s first expedition base at Hut Point remains a testament not only to scientific endeavour but also to the hardships endured by its later occupants, particularly Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party.Find out more
Scott's Discovery Hut is a framed and panelled structure, prefabricated and made of Douglas fir and Scots pine. Prefabricated in Sydney, the hut is square, its Australian origins evident in the open verandah that surrounds three sides.
The hut proved too hard to heat and was described as being more like a summer house. Consequently, it was never used as a base and the 47 men lived on their ship, using the hut for scientific observations, drying equipment, repairs and as an entertainment house.