The Antarctic is probably the most desolate continent on the planet. It is a continually changing area, especially now with global warning. Australia has had a long connection with it, not only through exploration but also through scientific research. Australia has laid claim to the largest part of the continent, though other countries also have claims to significant areas. The Antarctic has now become a tourist venue as well.
This page looks at The Antarctic - the continent itself, its exploration and those who explored it, Australia’s links both past and present, Antarctic images, the Aurora Australis, print material, student activities, more.
Last great unexplored area. People, especially from England, Australia and Scandinavian countries were involved in the early explorations.
- An Antarctic Time Line of Discovery
‘It is nearly impossible to exhibit a detailed chronology of exploration in the Antarctic region simply due to the fact that there have been over 300 expeditions to the Antarctic mainland, not to mention the sub-antarctic islands. Only historical events of major importance are listed here’.
- An Historical Timeline of Antarctic Exploration
Fact File - The Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration
‘At the beginning of the 20th century, Antarctic exploration was the The Space Exploration of the day. Unlike space exploration however, determined individuals with relevant experience and the ability to generate and draw on support, particularly sponsorship, could mount an expedition’.
- Antarctic Exploration 
Australian Antarctic Division. Unit of work with materials, activities, questions.
- Antarctic Exploration Bibliography
- Antarctic Exploration Timeline - 1900-1929
- Antarctic Explorers - Robert F. Scott
- Antarctic Heritage Trust
‘Antarctic Explorers & Heritage Preservation’. New Zealand.
- Different Approaches to Antarctic
Comparisons between success and failure. Now archived.
- Early Antarctic
State Library of New South Wales. Discovery in the Southern Ocean, Aurora Australis, Douglas Mawson, Shackleton’s Endurance.
- Ernest Shackleton
- History of Antarctica
Search for Terra Australis Incognita, south of the Antarctic Convergence, South of the Antarctic Circle, first sighting of land, exploration, recent history, references, further reading, links. Wikipedia.
- In the Footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson
‘Seeks to show Mawson’s life, adventures, success in taking science to extreme environments, scope of his achievements. Also attempts to show how Mawson’s achievements are part of an ever-evolving scientific endeavour’.
- James Clark Ross
- National Archives of Australia
Australian Antarctic Exploration and Research.
- Sir Hubert Wilkins
Australian explorer, adventurer who travelled extensively through the Arctic and Antarctic.
- The Endurance
- The Ships of Polar Explorers
Etymology, history, geography, geology, climate, population, biodiversity, politics, economy, research, effects of global warming, ozone depletion, references and external links. Wikipedia.
- Antarctica 
The CIA World Factbook.
- Antarctica Exploration
Multi Domain Assessment Task. ‘Developed by teachers for teachers’. Created in Victoria, it is designed primarily for Level 5 Geography studies. Everything you need is enclosed including downloadables, a clear explanation of process, tasks, contents, more.
- Antarctica Online
Australian Antarctic Division. Information from the Australian Antarctic Division established by the Commonwealth government. Check Antarctic Stations run by Australia. For specific vision, check the Antarctic Webcams from the four different stations they operate. You can also check Australian Legislation about the Antarctic at this site.
- Antarctica The Musical
Dogmatic Productions. ‘Antarctica The Musical is an integrated unit of work written for Primary school students and is particularly relevant to the Stage 3 curriculum. Using drama, music and humour, it explores the formation, history and ecology of Antarctica’.
- ATS - Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty
Antarctic Treaty, Environment Protocol, Information Exchange, Tools & Resources.
- Handbook of the Antarctic Treaty System
‘This Handbook reproduces material with respect to the Antarctic Treaty system, including the Antarctic Treaty itself. It is hoped that this Handbook will be of help both to those familiar with the Antarctic Treaty System and to newcomers who want to learn about Antarctica and the System’. Available [in sections] in PDF format.
- British Antarctic Survey
News, information, weather, wildlife. Their section on Life in the Polar Regions is really worth seeing.
- Classroom Antarctica
Two main sections. One for teachers, one for Kids. For teachers, 8 units, classroom resources. Mouse over each and see a short descriptor. Kids’ topics include Who’s eating who ?, Feathered Friends, Slippery Characters, Cover Pages, more. PDF version.
- Discover Antarctica
National Geographic. Multiple sections from an ice glossary to exploration.
- Discovering Antarctica
‘Take a journey through this site to discover Antarctica for yourself. Each section features activities, images, video clips and fact sheets, to help you learn about this distant, frozen wilderness’. Royal Geographical Society.
State Library of New South Wales. ‘Hurley was an exceptional photographer and his Antarctic visits covered a substantial part of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration’.
‘Joint Australian Centre for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica. Promoting activities, both nationally and internationally, that will facilitate our ability to operate an Antarctic Observatory and maximise the science that can be produced’.
- March Of The Penguins Study
‘A film that audiences of all ages will enjoy, although it is particularly suited to primary school and lower secondary school students. Teaching and learning activities have been developed to assist teachers of students in the middle years to promote the achievement of a variety of learning outcomes across the discipline based areas of Science, Humanities, Society and Environment, Human Society and its Environment, English, The Arts’. Free and downloadable.
- Mawson’s Huts
Multiple sections covering from his trips to Antarctica through the present conservation efforts to maintain his huts.
- NASA Quest
Archived but sections are still usable. Student and Teacher material.
Information, graphics about the Arctic and Antarctic, philately, history, including exploration.
Quite brilliant !
- Students on Ice
Student groups taken to either the Antarctic or the Arctic.
- The Antarctic Circle
Locations and personalities associated with the Antarctic and allied areas.
- Traversing Antarctica [National Archives
‘Traversing Antarctica : the Australian experience reveals how Australia’s connection with the frozen continent has developed over 100 years since the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Douglas Mawson. A wealth of documentary material from the National Archives unveils this fascinating history. A rare collection of original equipment and diaries from early expeditions is displayed together for the first time as well as inspiring interactive displays and imagery’.
- Virtual Antarctica
Join Whiteblack the penguin and find out about the Antarctic, animals to be found there, ice, glaciers, a special section on penguins.
- Warnings from the Ice
Accompanying a PBS program. ‘Over the last half-century, the coastal ice on the Antarctic Peninsula has been gradually disappearing. A group of scientists heads south to Antarctica in the race to answer questions and heed warnings from the ice’.
- Welcome to The Antarctic Sun
News, information. Available in PDF for later use.
- Wildlife of Antarctica
Information about Penguins, birds, Seals, Whales from Antarctic Connection.
Aurora Australis, the ‘Southern Lights’
- 15 Phenomenal Images of the Aurora Australis
Auroral mechanism, forms and magnetism, solar winds, frequency, origin, sources, types, history of aurora theories, images, aurora in folklore, auroras in literature, references, links. Wikipedia.
- Aurora Australis Tasmania
‘A website dedicated to Aurora Australis and night sky photography in Tasmania. Image galleries, resources about aurora viewing’, more.
- Aurora Gallery
Aurora Service (Australis).
- Frequently Asked Questions about Aurora
11 questions. From what it is to can you hear it.
‘The Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights, have been captured on video by astronauts in the International Space Station [ISS]’.
- The Aurora Australis - Southern
‘Mesmerising, dynamic displays of light that appear in the Antarctic skies in winter. They are, in effect, nature’s light show; visual poetry penned from the quantum leaps of atmospheric gases’. Question/response format.
Books, Magazines, …
- Antarctica [Kids Discover]
Magazine issue. Teachers Guide and Power Vocabulary documents for free. Fee-based for magazine.
- Antarctica - One World Magazine
Information about expeditions to the Antarctic continent and the treaty which has been developed to ensure saving the continent from predators of any kind [especially human !].
- Australian Antarctic Magazine
Published by the Australian Antarctic Division.
- New Zealand Antarctic Society
Publishes Antarctica four times a year, to a worldwide readership. Past issues also available.
- Antarctic Webcams
Covers Mawson Station.
- Australia’s Antarctic Program
Visual impression from cameras set up at/near Australian bases.
- Cool Antarctica
Nature, travel photography.
- Life in the Freezer : The Big Freeze
WildFilm History. Video clips, still images.
- Virtual Tour of Antarctica
Starting in New Zealand, to McMurdo, on to the South Pole. Links to the home body, about the South Pole.