100 years ago Australian explorer Dr Douglas Mawson reached the South Pole with an expedition team of twentysomethings. Among their many scientific achievements they built four huts at Cape Denison and were the first to use radio in Antarctica, linking the icy continent with Australia via Macquarie Island.
Inside the replica huts on the Hobart waterfront, installed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mawson’s expedition, you can learn about Antarctic history and get a sense of what life was like for the eighteen men who lived, slept, cooked, ate, laundered and developed their photos inside the tiny 7.3m square pyramid-roofed hut. The adjoining hip roofed hut, smaller again, acted as the group’s workshop. Needless to say, space was cramped. During winter, when the hut was encased in drift snow metres thick, access tunnels were dug to the outside world. Even so, the men were occasionally required to exit the workshop via a trap door in the verandah roof. Can you even imagine?
Mawson’s Huts are entered in the Register of the National Estate and are recognised as Historic Monuments by the Antarctic Treaty Parties.
Address: Morrison St, Hobart
Highlights: Life inside pioneer Antarctic huts
Building specs: Type: Frontier Hut. Year Built: 2013 after 1913. Architects: Dr Douglas Mawson