Macquarie Island environment

Bright sunny day over station and isthmus
Isthmus and station at Macquarie Island (Photo: Zak)
A rainbow aurora at Macca explodes in the sky above stationOrographic cloud over the island. This time the view is from the 'golf tee' up above the station near the Wireless Hill track looking south across the station, isthmus and beyond to the cloud capped escarpmentStorm clouds offshore on west coast Macquarie IsA west coast gentooLooking south over the snow covered isthmus and the slopes up to the plateau. In the foreground is a timber fence enclosure to the fuel 'farm' including a store area for plastic polypipe and some fencing timber

Macquarie Island is a subantarctic island located in the Southern Ocean at a latitude of 54° 30' south, 158° 57' east, approximately halfway between Antarctica and Australia.

It lies 1466 kilometres SSE of Tasmania and 1294 kilometres north of the Antarctic continent.

The island, or "Macca" as it is often called, is 34 kilometres long and five kilometres wide at its widest point. It is a Tasmanian Nature Reserve managed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service.

The island lies just to the north of an oceanic boundary, the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone or Antarctic Convergence, where cold polar water to the south meets the warmer subantarctic water to the north.

In good weather, it takes about three days to reach Macquarie Island from Hobart. Ships anchor in Buckles Bay to the east of the station. Ship-to-shore transport is via helicopter, amphibious vehicles called LARCs or inflatable rubber boats (IRBs).