Are we there yet?
TEXT BOX: Getting around Antarctica has always been a challenge.
TEXT BOX: From Mawson’s era…to the modern day.
OPERATIONS MANAGER, ROB CLIFTON: I reckon early explorers would be really jealous of the way we get around. I mean now with GPS and vehicles that have got heated cabins, it’s pretty easy I think compared to what they were probably doing.
So it’s a huge area that the Australian Antarctic Territory covers. The distance between stations is equivalent to Melbourne to Brisbane, so it’s a long way.
TEXT BOX: Travel between stations is by small planes.
ROBB CLIFTON: We are operating, obviously, in quite low temperatures, well below zero. And windy conditions as well and often with blown snow, which impedes visibility, which is pretty challenging for aircraft.
TEXT BOX: In winter the sea-ice acts as a highway for expeditioners.
TEXT BOX: They use quad bikes, skidoos and Hagglunds to get out in the field.
TEXT BOX: On the plateau people travel on GPS marked routes.
TEXT BOX: In summer small boats are the transport of choice.
ROBB CLIFTON: You know, in the middle of summer you can be out travelling around by Zodiac boat and then in winter, you can be driving a Hagglunds at exactly the same spot over the frozen ocean. So it takes a bit to get your head around that as a medium.