The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Hangouts on Air Programme

Hanging out on Air in the Antarctic

During our expedition you will be able to join us in the field as we explore the Antarctic! We will be hosting nine Hangouts on Air as we cross the Southern Ocean and make our attempt to reach the original Australasian Antarctic Expedition huts at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica. Ask questions of the team as we go under, across and above the ice. If you would like to learn more about Hangouts on Air – including how to join in – check out this great link.

Looking forward to seeing you in the south!

Download Hangouts on Air calendar file

Latest Google Hangout Video on YouTube

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    Sea lions and exploration - Enderby Island, Auckland Islands

    with Google and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Enderby Island forms part of the Auckland Island group and it’s a great place to view birds and wildlife. For the first of our Hangouts on Air, we’re planning  to land at Sandy Bay on the island’s southern flank, the main breeding ground of the New Zealand (Hooker’s) Sea Lion. Remarkably, this is also the site of the earliest human arrival in the subantarctics where it formed the southernmost reach of Polynesian exploration across the Pacific 700 years ago. Sandy Bay is a fantastic location to start our programme of Hangouts on Air as we set out to explore the Antarctic together.

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    A view of from the South - Carnley Harbour, Auckland Islands

    with Google and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Auckland Island is the largest of the 8 islands which make up the Auckland Group, some 300 nautical miles south of New Zealand. As a UNESCO World Heritage site these are a treasure trove of ancient volcanic flows, rata forests, 52 nesting birds including the rare yellow eyed penguin and vainglorious old settlements. Our aim during this Hangout on Air is to climb one of the ancient volcanoes that make up the island for our first view of the Southern Ocean and the drowned caldera that now makes up the anchorage known as Carnley Harbour.

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    The wandering albatross - Campbell Island

    with Google and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Campbell is a subantarctic jewel. The island is largely an ancient shield volcano noted for its rich megaherb population, bird life and perhaps the world’s most remote tree. We expect to spend our two days exploring the island on foot from the magnificent natural harbor on the eastern side, Perseverance Harbour. Rats have recently been successfully removed, producing an encouraging increase in small bird numbers, most notably the New Zealand Pipit. During this Hangout on Air we hope to introduce you to one of the great wanderers of the Southern Ocean: the albatross.

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    Bird paradise - Snares Island

    with Google and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    The Snares are the closest subantarctic islands to New Zealand, specifically the largest island in this small island group – North East Island. It is an amazing place – more birds nest on this one island than there are seabirds in all of the British Isles! We will arrive early in the morning and if conditions are fine, we will cruise by in small inflatable boats along the sheltered eastern side. During this Hangout on Air, we should see all manner of wildlife in sheltered bays, including penguins and seals. Amazingly, there are an estimated six million Sooty Shearwaters nesting in the Snares Islands!

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    Penguin colonies - Macquarie Island

    Macquarie Island the peak of a submerged mountain range some 700 nautical miles south of point of departure in New Zealand. It has been designated as a World Heritage Site mainly due to its rare geological assemblage. Sir Douglas Mawson set up his communication base here in December 1911 as part of the original Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Subject to weather, we plan to land at Sandy Bay on the east coast. Macquarie Island is home to millions of Royal Penguins, King Penguins, Gentoos and Rockhoppers. If we’re lucky we hope to be able to host the Hangout on Air near one of the penguin colonies. Hopefully it won’t be too noisy!

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    Life at the edge - Commonwealth Bay

    Each winter the sea around Antarctica freezes for several hundred kilometres out from the coast and in early summer the ice is persistent along the East Antarctic coastline. We expect it will take 1 to 2 days to work our way across this beautiful icescape, which is a critical habitat for diatoms, krill, minke whales, and crab-eater. Alongside the sea-ice edge in Commonwealth Bay we will start our science work, including searching for one of the great hunters of the Southern Ocean: the leopard seal. Join us for our first Hangout on Air on the ice and learn more about these amazing creatures.

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    Under the ice - Commonwealth Bay

    The sea bed surrounding Antarctica is normally teeming with life. But in 2011, a 97 kilometre-long iceberg called B9B grounded itself against the sea floor of Commonwealth Bay, clogging the area with ice. What effect this persistent ice cover has had on life below the surface is unknown. Join us on this Hangout on Air as we drill through the sea ice and explore the depths with an underwater camera, beaming life footage as we go. Who knows what we will see!

  • 12pm NZ
    10am AEST

    Farewell to Mawson’s Base - Cape Denison

    One of the major aims of our expedition is to return to Cape Denison, the site of Mawson’s base during the original Australasian Antarctic Expedition. We’re hopeful we will get to the huts and make scientific observations where the original work was done. We also plan to make repairs to the huts which form an important part of Australia’s Antarctic heritage. If all goes to plan, we aim to depart one hundred years to the day Mawson and his team left for home. Join us for a Hangout on Air as we explore the old hut.

  • 11.50pm NZ
    9.50pm AEST

    New Year’s Eve - Southern Ocean

    Join us as we celebrate the start of 2015 in the Southern Ocean. A light hearted look at the last 6 weeks of work and our return home.