Top things to do in East Antarctica & the South Pole

Top Choice Base in South Pole

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

The South Pole station was built in phases, so the first group of occupants was able to take up residence in January 2003, and it was officially inaugurated in January 2008. Full summer operations began in October 2…
Top Choice Landmark in South Pole

Ceremonial South Pole

The resplendent flags of the original 12 Antarctic Treaty signatories surround this red-and-white-striped ‘barber’ pole, capped by a chromium globe, so it offers the perfect photo op. But it’s just for show.
Research Center in South Pole

Science Facilities

Most of the scientific facilities at the Pole are off-limits to visitors, to avoid disrupting research. Other laboratories are off-limits because their instrumentation could be contaminated or decalibrated by unauth…
Base in Schirmacher Hills

Novolazarevskaya Station

Located at the southeastern tip of the Schirmacher oasis and on the shores of Lake Stantsionnoye, Russia’s Novolazarevskaya Station is named for Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev, who was second-in-command of Fabian von Bel…
Base in Vestfold Hills

Davis Station

Named after Captain John King Davis, master of ships used on expeditions led by Shackleton and Mawson, Australia’s Davis Station is a colorful collection of buildings overlooking the sea and numerous islands. Opened…
Landmark in South Pole

Geographic South Pole

The Geographic South Pole (Geodetic Pole) marks the spot at one end of the Earth’s axis of rotation (the other being the North Pole). It is indicated by a 4m steel pole topped by a medallion designed by the previous…
Historic Site in Commonwealth Bay & Cape Denison

Mawson's Main Hut

Mawson intended to have two separate huts, one housing 12 men, the other six. But it was decided to join the two, creating an accommodation area and a workshop. The larger building, about 53 sq meters, was rimmed on…
Observatory in Dome Argus (Dome A)

Plateau Observatory

In early 2008 a six-tractor caravan left China’s Zhongshan Station, covering the 1300km traverse to Dome A in three weeks to set up the PLATO Observatory. This automated facility is designed to take advantage of wha…
Base in East Antarctica

Mawson Station

Australia's Mawson Station was established in February 1954. Named for Douglas Mawson, an Australian Antarctic explorer, it is the oldest continuously occupied station south of the Antarctic Circle. Mawson is approa…
Base in Schirmacher Hills

Maitri Station

Maitri, Hindi for friendship, is a long, U-shaped, tan-colored building with a large Indian flag over the entrance. Maitri’s winter and summer complement is 25 and 65, respectively. Built in 1989 on adjustable teles…