Macquarie Island: ANARE Station on Macquarie
Macquarie Island is one of the most remote islands on earth, lying halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica, and it was only discovered in 1810. It was formed at the collision of two tectonic plates (Australian and Pacific), so geologically its rather young at only 600 thousand years. After discovery, sealing industry arrived and annihilated absolutely all elephant seals, fur seals, and penguins in a matter of just a decade – by 1821 there were no more elephant seals on the island. Luckily, the island eventually became a UNESCO reserve and all wildlife came back in massive numbers. The island’s remoteness and location makes it a total wildlife paradise and often earns it a nickname of the “Galapagos of the Southern Ocean”. The ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions) station was established here in 1948, and it exits to this day, conducting biological, botanical, weather, and many other types of research. The station is located on the northern end of the island and accommodates about 40 researchers. A massive eradication effort was launched in 2010 to get rid of all rats and rabbits, and in 2017 the island was declared totally free!