Antarctic place names

The sheer cliff of ice forms part of the glacier named after Dr Xavier Mertz, Mawson's companion on his Far Eastern sledging journey 1912.
Mertz Glacier tongue, named for Dr Xavier Mertz of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 19111914 (Photo: Barbara Wienecke)

The Australian Antarctic Division has a central role in assigning place names in the Australian Antarctic Territory and Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands. The Australian Antarctic Division Place Names Committee considers proposals for new names in accordance with the Australian Antarctic Place Names Policy and Committee terms of reference. The Antarctic Division’s director has responsibility for the approval of place names.

For further information about place naming, including the criteria applied to the consideration of place names and the work of the Place Names Committee, please refer to the Place Names Committee terms of reference and guidance for the consideration of Antarctic place names [PDF].

Approved place names are recorded in the Australian Antarctic Gazetteer and the SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica.

Applications for the adoption of new place names can be made by using the place name proposal form.

For any further information or enquiries please contact the Antarctic Division’s Place Names Committee Secretary at