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Explore Antarctica From Australia & New Zealand

Antarctica can be considered as the last frontier of human travel due to its remote location and sub-zero temperatures. This mysterious and icy kingdom actually holds many breathtaking views and scenery. If you’re thinking that with freezing temperatures, this land is devoid of life, there is actually flourishing wildlife here that’s waiting to be discovered. You’ll see penguins in their natural habitat, marine mammals like whales and seals and plants that thrive in polar regions. Also, you’ll get to see the remnants of early expeditions to this continent and revisit the history of several early attempts to reach this remote country. Geographically, Chile, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand are the countries closest to Antarctica where you can travel by air or by sea. While the South American departure option is closer and less expensive, the Australia and New Zealand option offers more scenic views, amazing stopovers and a distinct perspective of the continent.

Why Explore Antarctica?

Antarctica is a Large Continent

Covering 14 million square kilometers of frozen land, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent in land area, after Asia, Africa, North America and South America. Its size is almost twice that of Australia. The frigid land is covered in kilometer-thick ice and holds several distinctions and records. It is the coldest continent, with temperatures of -10°C at the coast to -60°C at the inner parts of the continent. The lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere on Earth is -89.2°C (-128.6°F), which was registered on July 21st, 1983 at the Russian Vostok base on the Southern Geomagnetic Pole. It is also the windiest continent on Earth, with wind speeds ranging from 58 mph (93 km/h) to 124 mph (200 km/h). The strongest wind speed of 200 mph (320 km/h) was recorded at the French Dumont d'Urville base in July 1972. Katabatic winds – winds that flow downwards from the interior toward the coast, driven largely by gravity as the air cools and becomes denser – are a common occurrence on this continent, which bring about hurricane-speed winds. This continent is also considered as the largest desert, as a desert is defined as a region that has less than 254 mm (10 in) of rainfall or precipitation. Antarctica has an average annual precipitation of only about 50 mm (2 in) to 200 mm (8 in) from the inner part to the coast.

Antarctica Is Home To Diverse Wildlife

The penguin is the most famous inhabitants of this cold continent. There are actually 17 species you can find on the continent. Other birds you can find are skua, tern and petrel. You can also find marine mammals such as orcas, Antarctic minke whale, dolphin and several species of seals, including Weddell seal, Crabeater seal and leopard seal.

Antarctica is a Relatively Safe Travel Destination

Freezing temperatures on the continent can’t be much of a concern with the right gear. Also, we have come a long way when it comes to navigation technology, so there’s no need to for you to worry that your Antarctica cruise would go Titanic at any time. Antarctica cruises are guaranteed safe, as trained and experienced personnel and experts accompany you on your cruise. Cruise trips from Australia or New Zealand might take several days, but you can be guaranteed that you’ll stay safe, secured and amazed over the course of your journey. You can find out more about Antarctica cruises from Australia at Compared with a cruise from South America’s Ushuaia in Argentina, a cruise to Antarctica from Australia and New Zealand has a longer travel distance, but is generally safer than the former, which has to pass by Drake Passage, an area with unpredictable weather and rough waves. While the cruise travel time from Argentina to Antarctica generally takes 10-21 days, cruise travel from Australia or New Zealand takes 23-35 days, which gives you more time to explore the continent up close and thoroughly, while also enjoying views and sceneries from other stopovers of the cruise.

Why Travel to Antarctica From Australia and New Zealand?

When it comes to distance and budget, the Argentina to Antarctic Peninsula option might be the better choice. However, the trip from Australia or New Zealand going to the East Antarctica also has unique perks and offerings you can’t find in the Peninsula Region.


One reason why you should try a cruise from the eastern side is exclusivity. You get the rare chance of embarking on a cruise where only a select few can get on board. If you prefer a more private and in-depth exploration, you do so with a longer travel time and with more areas to cover.

You get a sense of accomplishment

You have that rare opportunity to venture into one of the most remote places on Earth and you get that sense of accomplishment by being able to step on a land that very few have only done so far. You also conquer that sense of isolation and the harsh weather conditions in the continent – something many people wish they could do.

You get to see Antarctica’s Other Majestic Side

Antarctica is broadly divided into two sections: the West Antarctica or Lesser Antarctica and East Antarctica or Greater Antarctica. Travelling from South America gives you access to the former, while from Australia and New Zealand, you get to reach the latter. East Antarctica holds the greater volume of snow cover and also hosts rich fauna along its coasts, which includes seabirds, seals and the emperor penguin – the tallest and heaviest of all penguin species. Also, you can get to see Mt. Erebus, one of the two active volcanoes in Antarctica. Also, you get to see the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf of Antarctica, which is 600 kilometers long and between 15 and 50 meters high.

You get to know Antarctica’s Exploration History

You may think that due to the extreme and hostile weather conditions of this land, no one dared to explore it. Depending on where your particular cruise goes, you can get to visit the huts of the heroes of the age of polar exploration: Douglas Mawson, Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton. This area is located on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island in Antarctica, where much of its early exploratory history was carried out and where these historic huts still stand and remain frozen in time.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should head south to Antarctica. Also, if you want to take an alternative route which is less traveled, taking an Antarctic cruise from Australia and New Zealand is the option for you. Remember that the trip can take several more days and will cost more than the cruise trip from Argentina. Nevertheless, this is something months of preparation and saving can solve. Preparing the right gear can make your Antarctic cruise a memorable experience, make sure to bring things that you’ll really need when travelling. Take these things into consideration, and you’ll get to embark on one of the most unforgettable trips in your lifetime.

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