Sir George Hubert Wilkins (1888-1958)

Sir George Hubert Wilkins stands in Antarctica
Sir George Hubert Wilkins (1888 to 1958) noted Australian polar explorer, geographer, aviator, submariner and photographer
Reading Sir Hubert Wilkins proclamation at Wilkins CairnVehicles on the highway to Wilkins runway

Nationality and occupation

Australian polar explorer, geographer, aviator and photographer


  • To 1913 – Took part in various Arctic Expeditions.
  • 1918 – Second Lieutenant for Australian Flying Corps and official photographer during World War 1, when he was awarded a Military Cross and Bar for bravery.
  • 1923 – Made a comprehensive geographical study of northern Australia.
  • 1928 – Made a trans-Arctic crossing by air, for which he was knighted.
  • 1928 – Flew over the Antarctic, naming Hearst Land for his sponsor, later renamed Wilkins Island.
  • 1931 – Although unsuccessful in reaching the North Pole, proved submarine travel under the polar ice cap possible.
  • 1933-34, 1934-35, 1935-36 – Was expedition leader for American millionaire Lincoln Ellsworth's three Antarctic expeditions, with the objective of making the first Trans-Antarctic flight.
  • 1938-39 – Adviser and expedition manager for Ellsworth's final Antarctic Expedition.

Wilkins Island, Wilkins Sound, the Wilkins Ice Shelf and, most recently, Wilkins Runway near Casey station in Antarctica have been named in his honour.