Books

Antarctic Journeys

Where is Antarctica? Who was the first to discover it? What was the Race to the South Pole? Why did it take so long for women to be allowed to go to Antarctica? How do you get there, and how is it different from the rest of the world? How cold is it? What is it like spending the winter there? What kind of animals do you see?

This book will tell you all these things and more, and it's crammed full of fascinating pictures as well.


Excerpt

"Antarctica is like no other continent. People suspected it was there for centuries, but It was one of the last places in the world to be discovered. It has no indigenous inhabitants or language. Its early history is a saga of exploration and endurance in the face of raging storms, freezing temperatures, blizzards and ferocious winds, and it is told by and about men. No women stepped onto the continent for decades after the first sightings and landings.

Nobody lives there permanently. Everyone arrives from somewhere else and then leaves again. Antarctic animals carry out their own journeys and migrations. Even the ice moves across the landscape from the high mountains towards the sea.

This book tells the stories of Antarctic journeys, big and small, animal and human, scientific and practical, journeys of art and memory, journeys through the landscape and into the past." (Introduction to Antarctic journeys)

This is me dressed for the weather on the sea ice in front of Scott Base.
This is me dressed for the weather on the sea ice in front of Scott Base. You can only tell it’s me because of my name tag! The black blobs behind me are seals

Camping out on the ice
Camping out on the ice: this is the field kitchen that we built out of blocks of snow. Mt Erebus is in the background. There is 24-hour daylight at this time of year, so the sky stayed as blue as this all night!

Driving across the sea ice5
Driving across the sea ice to visit the hut where Captain Scott and his men stayed on the Terra Nova expedition in 1910-13, over a hundred years ago. The flags mark the safe path to follow.

The story behind the book

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to travel to Scott Base and McMurdo Sound with Antarctica New Zealand. You can read the blog of my trip.

Going to Antarctica was an amazing experience and I have thought about it almost every day since then. It is beautiful and remote and fascinating and cold and scary and breathtaking, often all at once.

I wanted to share some of the fascinating things I have found out about Antarctica – the history, the science, the animals, the people. This book is the result!

Reader's Activity

• Antarctica is often described as the coldest, driest, windiest, most remote continent. See what other fascinating facts you can discover about it. Here's a good place to start.

• Find out about the animals that went to Antarctica: dogs, ponies and ships' cats (one of my favourites is Mrs Chippy, but be warned – it's a story with a sad ending.)

• Choose your favourite and most amazing photographs on the Antarctica NZ ADAM site.