Hydroponics facilities ensure a steady supply of fresh and colourful produce, year round.

All our stations have productive hydroponics facilities. They grow a steady supply of fresh and colourful produce for expeditioners to eat.

They have the added advantage of providing a great recreational activity for expeditioners. This is particularly important during the long winter months when there is little or no sun. Working in a brightly lit room, surrounded by greenery, provides a welcome break from a landscape dominated by whites and greys.

Selection of crops

We grow a selection of herbs and vegetables at all stations. Expeditioners regularly germinate seedlings so there are continuous crops.

Typical hydroponics crops include:

  • tomatoes
  • lettuces
  • cucumbers
  • capsicums
  • beans
  • zucchinis
  • spinach
  • snow peas
  • fennel
  • coriander
  • basil

Hydroponics on Macquarie Island

The risk of alien introduction and disease is greater on Macquarie Island than it is on the Antarctic continent. It is much warmer, and already home to many local species. Introduced exotic organisms (such as seeds, insects, spiders and micro-organisms) pose a significant environmental threat. They could irrevocably change the natural environment of this spectacular World Heritage area.

The seed list for Macquarie Island is more restrictive. It must be approved by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and the Senior Botanist with the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industry and Water.

Prohibited seeds include:

  • all members of the brassica family (such as broccoli and cabbage)
  • a large number of herbs (such as watercress, parsley, mints, dill, mustard and cress)
  • all mushroom cultures
  • lettuce salad mixes, although single variety lettuce seeds are permitted