This week at Macquarie Island: 25 May 2018

A trip down island and a guided tour of station this week from Macca

A short walk on a big Island

The other week when the days where longer, the nights warmer and the days much more pleasant it was decided that a trip was needed to the infamous Green Gorge Hut to find out whether all the rumors about it were true. So it was planned that after breakfast on Sunday the trip would begin. 

Angus and I (Chris) headed off on the long OLT (Overland Track) down to Green Gorge. The track itself is well worth the walk as it meanders its way along the plateau through the geologically rich northern end of the island before it heads down into the Red River Basin. Once you get to the end of Red River Basin you get your first glimpse of Green Gorge and the hut tucked up against the southern end of Green Gorge Bay. 

When you have descended back down to sea level you are greeted with a lovely log cabin with a manicured yard. Once at the hut the first thing in order was to relax and unwind with a nice hot cup of tea before making a loaf of infamous Hut bread, which I do have to say was the best loaf for bread I’ve had at Green Gorge this year. 

After a day of relaxing around the hut and a look at the local area and maybe the odd game of dart’s it was time to head back north to station and the grind of daily life. And the verdict? Yes, the rumors are true - it is one of the best huts I’ve ever been to.

By Chris Burns 

Angus Cummings at the Red River Bridge on the Varne Plateau, Macquaire Island
Angus at the Red River Bridge
(Photo: Chris Burns)
A sign to Green Gorge on the Varne Plateau, Macquarie Island
All roads lead to Green Gorge
(Photo: Chris Burns)
Green Gorge hut nestled in Green Gorge Bay, Macquarie Island
Green Gorge hut safely tucked away
(Photo: Chris Burns)
Green Gorge looking south toward the hut, with King penguin colony up from the shore edge toward the tussock line
Green Gorge looking south toward the hut
(Photo: Chris Burns)
Angus Cummings making bread at Green Gorge hut, Macquarie Island
Hut bread making
(Photo: Chris Burns)
A lego expeditioner complete with VHF radio outside the Green Gorge hut on Macquaire Island
Its a long walk when you have short legs
(Photo: Chris Burns)

Welcome to our home

Now the 14 of us have settled into our new home, we thought it was about time we gave you all a guided tour.

The layout of Macquarie Island research station is a little different to that of the Antarctic research stations. Our sleeping quarters are split across several buildings, all of which are separated from the living area (meaning there is no excuse not to go outside each day). Unfortunately the terrain around station is a tenacious mix of mud and black sand, so there is a lot of hauling gumboots on and off again.

The main buildings on Station are set around ‘The Quadrangle’, although to be honest it’s more of a lopsided triangle.

The station is also split into two parts by an isthmus, a sandy flat strip of island popular with the resident elephant seals and gentoo penguins. Occasionally waves will wash over this area, making the trip to work for our comms tech, Bureau of Meteorology staff, and Tas Parks Ranger a little more interesting than usual!

Welcome to our home.

a view of Macquaire Island Research Station with Cathryn O'Sullivan the current Doctor at the front gate
Welcome to Macquarie Island Station, it really does look a lot like…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)
A view of the Macquaire Island medical, kitchen and living quarters
The most popular building on station, the living quarters make up one…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)
Inside the living quarters looking from the living area, through the mess and down into the kitchen. Photos from every wintering group since the late 1940s line the back wall
Inside the living quarters looking from the living area, through the mess…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)
A view of Hass House and Cumpstons Cottage, two of the accommodation buildings at Macquarie Island research station
The second side of The Quadrangle (or Market Square) is made up…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)
A view of the Multi-purpose building and the old Post Office building at Macquarie Island
Across from Hass House is the Multi-purpose Building (or MPB for short).…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)
A view of the station storage facility, the Green Store with Wireless Hill behind, Macquarie Island
Where would we be without the Green Store. This is the warehouse…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)
A view of one of the food cool rooms in the Green Store at Macquair Island research statione
“Can you get some milk on the way home please.” All of…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)
A view of some of the southernmost station buildings, the Bureau of Meteorology buildings and Communications can be seen
The far side of the isthmus. The Tas Parks Office, Science Buildings,…
(Photo: Cathryn O'Sullivan)