11 Stops in a Journey Across Antarctica

Join us on a trip to the South Pole (we may be some time)

By Google Arts & Culture

Discovery Hut

Discovery Hut was the first structure ever built on Antarctica, and remains standing today, not far from the modern McMurdo Station. It was built by the English explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1901, as a base for first attempt to reach the South Pole.

Shackleton's Hut

The next explorer of the continent, Ernest Shackleton, built his first hut close to Scott's own, at Cape Royds. From here, Shackleton and his crew set out on the 1907–1909 Nimrod expedition to the South Pole.

Scott’s Hut and the Explorers’ Heritage of Antarctica

The Cape Royds Hut was restored between 2004 and 2008 as part of the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project, which looks after the four historic Antarctic expedition huts. The building today appears almost untouched since the early 1900s.

Scott’s Hut and the Explorers’ Heritage of Antarctica

Scott's Hut

Scott's Hut was the second base built by Robert Falcon Scott. Its design improved on many of the failures of Discovery hut. It was from here that the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910–1913 set on their doomed journey to the South Pole.

Scott’s Hut and the Explorers’ Heritage of Antarctica

Inside, it's not very roomy, and when Scott was wintering here in 1911, there were 24 other crewmembers of the Terra Nova expedition crammed into every corner. The hut remains in the same state as it was in 1956, when it was dug out of the snow.

Scott’s Hut and the Explorers’ Heritage of Antarctica

Williams Field

Today, this is the scene that greets many of Antarctica's visitors - McMurdo Station Airport - the busiest of the continent's airports. During the Antarctic summer, from June to December, flights are made between here and New Zealand.

McMurdo Station

While the vast majority of the continent remains unspoilt wilderness, over the past century many more bases were built. Today, hundreds of people live and work at the American McMurdo Station, sited not far from Scott's original Discovery hut.

The National Science Foundation, McMurdo Station

The scientists stationed at McMurdo carry out many of the same tasks that Scott and Shackleton's men did - taking atmospheric measurements, collecting biological samples, and testing new technology - thankfully they don't have to sleep next to their experiments.

There's a lot of nothing between McMurdo and the South Pole. No plants, no animals, and very, very few people. But thankfully there's plenty of time to admire the view.

South Pole Telescope

We're nearly at the pole, but first let's stop by the South Pole Telescope. Sited nearly 3km above sea level, under the clear southern skies, this is one of the best places on earth for observing the heavens.

Geographic South Pole

We made it. This simple stake marks the point where the lines of longitude converge, and the precise location of the South Pole. From here, no matter which direction you go, you're going north. Today, it's not quite the wilderness Amundsen and Scott would have found.

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