The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Our Legacy

“The scenery of New Zealand was almost as well known to us as to anybody who has lived in the country all his life, and three of us had never been there. We have sat round the Shack sometimes and only the roar of a sea elephant outside reminded us that we were not, as we imagined, at a Maori “tangi.” The wages to be earned there, the delights of travelling, the legislators, Rotorua, kauri pine, and the moon they’ve got in Auckland -we’ve heard of all these and marveled at them. “Kapai te Maori!”"
- Sir Douglas Mawson in The Home of the Blizzard


To minimise our impact on the planet, the AAE will offset its carbon emissions by planting trees. Not just any trees, nor just anywhere. As Sir Douglas Mawson quoted above, images of the New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) have long been a source of inspiration and admiration to explorers and travellers alike. Kauri is also a relic from a bygone era; tracing its lineage back to when Antarctica and New Zealand shared a common link as parts of the supercontinent Gondwanaland. The AAE is delighted to announce a grove of kauri trees will be planted in its natural range on a property owned by The Kauri Museum at Matakohe, Northland, New Zealand; the world’s first carbon neutral museum.


A total of 800 kauri trees will be planted which during the first 50 years of their life will offset more than the total carbon used to fuel the AAE. Kauri of course lives much longer than this and is even known to reach ages of more than 2,000 years. The amount of carbon assimilated by the trees was calculated using the kauri growth calculator based on many field studies and research.

Discussions are also taking place to investigate if an iconic Australian species could also be used to help offset emissions in a similar way to the kauri and we hope to provide more details shortly.