Issues Magazine

Articles about Mawson's Hut

Conserving the Legacy of Antarctica’s Heroic Era

Inside the main hut

Inside the main hut after recladding of the roof and removal of much of the ice. Credit: David London

By David Jensen

Mawson’s Huts are a reminder of the most significant scientific expeditions of the Antarctic’s heroic area. The main base for 2 years of Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, the main hut has survived a century of assault from the fiercest blizzards – but only just.

It is a sad fact that the story of the 1911–14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by the nation’s greatest polar explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson, is known by too few. At 4 pm on 2 December 1911, Mawson and 30 other young men (average age 26) pulled away from Queen’s Wharf, Hobart, on board the Aurora and sailed down the Derwent River at the start of what was to be the world’s first serious scientific exploration of the Antarctic.