macquarie island

Macquarie Island is one of the Subarctic Island, which is located in the Southern Ocean, just half way between New Zealand and Antarctica. Macca is the nickname of Macquarie Island and is a nature Reserve managed by the Tasman Parks and Wildlife Service. The Island and surrounding waters are protected in a radius of 12 nautical miles. The geoconversation is significant. The land under water, and all fauna and flora including fish and marine plants are fully protected.

Frederick Hasselbough discovered the island accidently on 11 July 1810. As he was looking for new sealing grounds, the island was uninhabited, and claimed the Island for Briton. Hasselborough reported a wreck of ancient design, which has given the speculation that Polynesian or others have visited the island before.

The Island is about 34 km long and 5km wide, with an area of 128 km sq. Near Macquarie Island are two smaller islands. The islands highest point is MT Elder on the northeast ridge 385 m, and Mt Hamilton and Fletcher in the South at 410m.

Macquarie Island is rich on wildlife include subarctic fur seals, Antarctic fur seals, New Zealand fur seals, and southern elephant seals, more than 60 000 individuals are known. Royal penguins, Macquarie Shags, king penguins, southern rock hopper penguins and gentaoo penguins breed in large numbers on the island. Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, on the northern end of the island at the foot at Wireless Hill. The population of the base varies from 20 to 40 people over the year.

Tourism has a very small impact on the Island, not more than 250 to 400 visitors are visiting the Island over the year. The only access is via cruise ships which usually traveling during the summer month into the subarctic to visit Subarctic Islands.

Macquarie island is the last Island before Antarctica, it could get very rough at sea from time to time, and a landing is sometimes not possible due the high swell at the beach side.