Where might you be this time next year? Apply to work in Antarctica and you could be on your way to the great southern continent to take up an opportunity available to few Australians.

The Australian Antarctic Division has opened applications for the 2016/17 season and is looking to recruit more than 100 men and women to be part of Australia’s Antarctic programme.

Australian Antarctic Division acting Human Resources Manager, Andrew Groom, said short-term summer opportunities were available, as well as wintering jobs of up to 15 months.

“Working in Antarctica isn’t just a job, there is no other place on earth like it and it really is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Mr Groom said.

“Once you’re selected, you become part of an exclusive group of Australians who travel to Antarctica to live and work in a place that the majority of people can only dream of.”

There are jobs available for qualified tradespeople including builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and mechanics, as well as station leaders, electronics engineers, plant operators, aircraft ground support officers, aerodrome graders and plant operators, field training officers, communications technicians, chefs and doctors.

Successful applicants go through pre-departure training to prepare them for living and working in an extreme environment. In addition to paid Antarctic allowances while working down south, all accommodation, food and cold weather clothing is provided.

Many expeditioners say that spending time with a diverse and skilled group of colleagues on station is a highlight of their experience.

“It’s a real team environment, with everyone happy to chip in and pass on their skills. Antarctica attracts extraordinary people who have often worked around the world and had diverse life experiences. You can make some great friends, learn a range of new skills and have a great experience on a personal level,” Mr Groom said.

“I’d encourage anyone looking to step out of their normal life for a while and have some amazing experiences to find out more and apply to join Australia’s Antarctic programme.”

Australia manages four stations — Casey, Davis and Mawson on the Antarctic continent and Macquarie Island in the sub-Antarctic.

Applications close on 28 January 2016.