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 is now becoming 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 and more.
There are obvious links between this area and The Arctic page.
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 subantarctic 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
- Different Approaches to Antarctic
Comparisons between success and failure.
- 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. From 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. From Wikipedia.
- Antarctica 
The CIA World Factbook.
- Antarctica, A Web-Based Activity
A webquest designed for students at a middle school level. Concentrates on Antarctic animals. Australian developed.
Highly Recommended !
Multi Domain Assessment Task. ‘This task and others presented in this section were 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.
Highly Recommended !
- 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. With a range of musical styles to capture the imagination of today’s youth, these songs and scenes can also be used independently or as part of the musical by the same name’. Other information can be found at Antarctica.
- British Antarctic Survey
News, information, weather, wildlife. Their section on Living & Working in the Antarctic 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.
- 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.
Well presented !
An introduction to the Antarctic continent.
- 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.
‘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.
Multiple sections covering from his trips to Antarctica through the present conservation efforts to maintain his huts.
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.
- The Questacon Polar Challenge [Questacon]
‘Your Polar Station Supervisor has assigned you to a two day important field operation outside the Station Operating Area. However before you can go, you’ll need a Questacon Polar Challenge Certificate. To get one, we’e going to test your basic knowledge about the poles and see if you know what clothing and equipment to bring along’.
- 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
Information about Penguins, birds, Seals, Whales from Antarctic Connection.
Information and images of the ‘Southern Lights’.
See the Aurora Borealis section on the Arctic page, for other aurora information.
Auroral mechanism, forms and magnetism, solar winds, frequency, origin, sources, types, history of aurora theories, images, aurora in folklore, auroras in literature, references, links. From Wikipedia.
Pictures of Aurora Australis
A range of still photos and one video. Information about each.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Aurora
14 questions. From what it is to can you hear it. ‘For each question there is a short, one-sentence answer, a paragraph or two with a bit more explanation. For more detailed and technical explanations there are other web pages’.
The Aurora Australis
‘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, Journals, …
- 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 !].
- Polar Conservation Organisation
An award winning website, recognised as a [if not the] leading independent site covering news and Animated Explanations covering a range of primarily conservation topics.
- 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.
Links may apply to all polar regions, including the Arctic and Antarctic. Visit the The Arctic page to access these