How do you travel in a place that has thick snow, uneven ice and ever-changing weather conditions?

Meet the Hägglunds, workhorse of Antarctic travel.

Hägglunds are Swedish dual-cab, medium class, over-snow vehicles. Their 4 rubber tracks mean they can navigate uneven surfaces and unseen obstacles. They safely get people to their destination even in extreme weather conditions.

They can drive across soft snow and frozen sea ice, although the ice must be at least 60 cm thick. They have a top speed of only 50 km/h, and often travel at an even lower speed. They can go far, however, and depending on the terrain can reach approximately 300 km on a full tank.

Inside, there's cargo space for nearly 2500 kg, and they can tow another 2500 kg on sleds behind. This is important for carrying scientific equipment or supplies for infrastructure. They can carry 4 passengers in the front cab. Conversations inside aren't easy because of the noise and often expeditioners wear earmuffs.

They are left-hand drive, and are powered by a Cummins engine and Allison transmission. Steering occurs by articulation of the front and rear cabs. Although these vehicles are usually very reliable, they need care and proper handling. They must only be operated by qualified personnel who have satisfied the training requirements.

The ability to navigate on the sea ice means they can take scientists to do wildlife monitoring on species such as emperor penguins, who raise their chicks on the sea ice. If something does go wrong, Hägglunds are designed to float and there is a hatch in the cabin roof for a quick exit.

Hägglunds have been an important part of Australia's activities in Antarctica since 1983. After nearly 40 years of service our Hägglunds are showing no signs of slowing down or being replaced.

Hägglunds are used to support field activities both close to station and thousands of kilometres away.