Expeditioners generally live in modern air-conditioned single-room ‘dongas’ (Antarctic slang for bedrooms).

Every attempt is made to accommodate those expeditioners whose jobs require shiftwork, or who have mandated periods of rest required by law (such as pilots), to be placed in rooms where they can expect minimal interruptions during the day.

Expeditioners are expected to be aware that some personnel sleep during the day and to keep this in mind when moving throughout the accommodation areas.

Casey & Mawson

At Casey and Mawson, dongas are located in a large building known as the ‘Red Shed’, which also houses the surgery, lounge, kitchen and dining room. However, due to the large influx of people over summer, some expeditioners may have to be accommodated in temporary, shared accommodation.


New living quarters were completed at Davis in 2011. The building can accommodate up to 120 expeditioners and contains a kitchen, dining room and common areas such as lounges, cinema and a library. The lounge and dining facilities along the north and west areas of the building provide outlooks over Prydz Bay and towards the Sørsdal glacier. These rooms take advantage of the northerly sun to greatly enhance natural lighting within the building.

Macquarie Island

At Macquarie Island, four accommodation buildings are located within the station compound at the northern end of the isthmus.

  • Southern Aurora Donga (SAD), also known as ‘The Beach House’, is the oldest and only traditional donga with 18 small sleeping cubicles and bunk style beds and an ablutions block.
  • Garden Cove houses eight larger sized rooms and two station dark rooms. The rooms have raised bunk-style beds and windows that can be opened.
  • Hasselborough House contains 11 rooms, including two double rooms, a laundry, drying room, toilets and showers. All windows are fixed shut.
  • Cumpstons Cottage is a two storey pre-fabricated timber cottage containing four rooms, including the station leader’s accommodation and office and the chef’s and medical practitioner’s rooms.