Macquarie Island station is on a narrow, windswept isthmus near Wireless Hill. It is the longest continuously operating Australian station in the sub-Antarctic or Antarctica.

Macquarie Island station is made up of more than 30 separate buildings. These include accommodation, a communal mess, a doctor’s surgery, stores, workshops, communications and power generation facilities. Most of the research and scientific buildings are also located on the isthmus. These include facilities for studying geophysics, biology, upper atmosphere physics and meteorology.

Macquarie Island station was established by the first ANARE in 1948. Since then, the station has seen a series of upgrades and refurbishments.

The Southern Aurora donga (otherwise known as SAD) is one of the original structures in the complex. It dates from 1958. SAD has 18 cubicle style rooms, with toilet and shower facilities at one end. It is the only traditional style donga left on any of the Antarctic stations.

Garden Cove, built in 1969, contains 8 larger rooms with communal bathroom facilities. The rooms have raised bunk style beds and windows that can be opened.

Hasselborough House is more modern. This accommodation, contains 11 rooms, a laundry, a drying room, toilets and showers.

Cumpston Cottage is a prefabricated two-storey timber house. It was built during the 1995–96 summer. The cottage has living quarters for the station leader, doctor and chef. It also contains the station leader’s office.

The kitchen and the mess are the social heart of the station. This space is a venue for everyone to spend time together in a community atmosphere.

The number of expeditioners on station varies from 14 to 40. This depends on the season and on research or construction projects.