Communicating with Antarctica by phone, fax and email

Email at Kingston and the stations

All expeditioners are provided with an AAD email account that can be used at both Kingston and the stations.

The format of the email address is: Firstname.familyname@aad.gov.au 

Thus, an expeditioner called Martin Swabble will have the email address: martin.swabble@aad.gov.au

Email on chartered ships

The format above does not work when an expeditioner is travelling on board chartered ships. Whilst on board, the expeditioner's email address has to have the abbreviated name of the ship inserted in the domain portion of the address.

Thus, if travelling on Aurora Australis, Martin Swabble’s email address would be: martin.swabble@aurora.aad.gov.au

The email system on a chartered ship is not a standard 'real-time' email system in which the message arrives in the recipient’s mailbox virtually as soon as it is sent. The system operates as a 'store-and-forward' system whereby received emails are stored on a server at Kingston and downloaded by the ship twice only each hour.  Thus, it can take an extended period of time for the original to reach the recipient and for a reply to be received.

The email system operates over a maritime satellite network and, in order to minimise costs it is essential that email transfer times are kept to a minimum.  To achieve this certain size restrictions have been put in place.  A size restriction of 50 KB is applied to all messages (including mail headers, attachments and mime encoding of content), both to and from the ships.  Larger messages are automatically rejected, and the originator informed.

If it is essential that a message gets through to the ship, an email should be sent to servicedesk@aad.gov.au requesting that the message be released.

To comply with the size restriction it is suggested that:

  • If replying to a message, do not include the entire original message in the response.
  • Do not use long signatures, preferably turn the signature off.
  • Do not send any attachments.
  • Email messages should only be sent as 'plain text' without HTML formatting.

Please note – these restrictions apply only to emails being sent to chartered vessels and not to emails for expeditioners on station.

Telephoning the stations

An AAD-owned satellite network, known as ANARESAT, provides telephone access between the stations and from stations to the rest of the world.

Telephones are located in all workplaces on and in the bedrooms of all the main sleeping accommodation areas. The exception is for expeditioners housed in one accommodation block on Macquarie Island where there is one phone room that serves that accommodation block.

The procedure for calling a station from Australia is as follows:

  • If required, dial the access code for the carrier of your choice.
  • Dial 0011 (international access code).
  • Dial 672 (country code for Australian Antarctic Territories and Macquarie Island).
  • Dial the access code for the station:
    • 10 for Davis
    • 11 for Mawson
    • 12 for Casey
    • 13 for Macquarie Island
  • Dial XXXX (where XXXX is the four digit extension number at the station).

For example, to call extensions 8857 at Casey a caller in Australia would dial 0011 672 12 8857.

Extension numbers for the station should be provided by the expeditioner, either whilst they are at Kingston or after arrival at the station. Callers from outside Australia should substitute 0011 in the above example with the international access code required by their local carrier.

Faxing the stations

Faxes can be sent to the stations by faxing them to designated numbers at Kingston that are configured to automatically forward the fax to the appropriate station.

The numbers are:
  • Davis 03 6283 2657
  • Mawson 03 6283 2757
  • Casey 03 6283 2857
  • Macquarie Island 03 6283 2957

At the station, the fax will be printed out and delivered to the recipient by telecommunications personnel.

Telephoning and faxing Aurora Australis

The same maritime satellite network that is used to transfer email is also used for telephone calls.

The procedure for calling Aurora Australis from Australia is:

  • If required, dial the access code for the carrier of your choice
  • Dial 0011 (International access code)
  • Dial 672 14 5109 (Aurora Australis radio room)
Telephone numbers will be advised separately if a vessel other than Aurora Australis is chartered. Please note that the Aurora Australis is a working vessel. Calls to the ship should be kept to a minimum. Please use this number for contact on important matters. Calls to vessels can be very expensive and the AAD has no control over these charges.