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We thought long and hard about including Antarctica on this website but finally decided to "take the plunge". Christchurch, essentially my home town, is still the major jumping off point for Antarctica. It hosts the International Antarctic Centre, a place well worth a visit. The Antarctic is so much a part of New Zealand and Australian culture and so many Australian and New Zealand photographers and writers have produced work on and about the frozen continent that it seemed short-sighted to leave it off.


Antarctic Odyssey: In the Footsteps of the South Polar Explorers by Graham Collier & Patricia Graham Collier. ISBN 0786706538. Published by Caroll and Graf Publishers, Inc. Recommended retail price $35.00.

This beautifully illustrated account arose from several visits to both East and West Antarctica by author Graham Collier. Traveling on small, ice-strengthened expedition ships and on one occasion a converted Russian icebreaker, he recalls the stories of the early South-Polar explorers, often while standing on the sites of their triumphs and disasters.

Starting from the Magellan Straits, he visits South Georgia, Elephant Island (for months the bleak refuge for the Endurance survivors), and Peter I Island, before venturing into the unpredictable Ross Sea, with its vast ice barrier, over which such great adventurers as Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen set out for the Pole.

The names and places bespeak a celebrated past: Ross Island and McMurdo Sound, the Beardmore Glacier, Mount Erebus, and many more, each associated with feats of endurance and courage that inspire us to this day.

Graham Collier was accompanied by his wife, Patricia, who took most of the superb photographs that both inform the text and tell their own story of the breathtaking landscape and its unique wildlife. From Adélie penguins to the magnificent and colorful Emperors, the predatory leopard seals and orcas, and the great wandering albatross - encounters with the denizens of the Southern Ocean add a further dimension to the author's experiences.

At once a recreation of the past and an enthralling picture of the wonders that remain, Graham Collier's journeys capture the spirit of this vast continent, the last great wilderness. Hard cover, 194 pages. Published in 1999.

Guide to Antarctic wildlife thumbnail

The Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife: Birds and Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Continent and the Southern Ocean by Hadoram Shirihai Illustrated by Brett Jarrett. Published by Princeton University Press. ISBN13: 978-0-691-11414-9. Recommended retail price $29.95.

The first of its kind, this spectacularly illustrated book is the only complete guide to the wildlife and natural history of the vast and beautiful Antarctic region. Covering the Antarctic continent, the southern ocean, and the subantarctic islands, this guide illustrates all of the region's breeding birds and marine mammals with stunning color photographs. In addition to the color plates, it features distribution maps and up-to-date species accounts expertly detailing abundance, seasonal status, and conservation prospects. The volume also covers numerous nonbreeding species, migrants, and vagrants. Regional chapters describe all of the subantarctic islands, in addition to most regularly visited sites in Antarctica, and are accompanied by maps of each area and photographs of each locale. These chapters present detailed information on geography, climate, geology, general ecology, and flora. They also address conservation efforts--past, present, and planned. The book concludes with practical information about visiting the area, including details on the best-available landing sites and notes on seasonal weather conditions. This is an indispensable companion for a trip far south, as well as an informative volume for anyone interested in the Antarctic region's remarkable, occasionally strange, and frequently beautiful animals. * Features 35 color plates and over 600 color photographs * Illustrates and maps the distribution of all of the region's breeding birds and marine mammals

* Includes information on many non-breeders, migrants, and vagrants

* Features expert text reflecting recent advances in taxonomy

* Covers all of the subantarctic islands as well as Antarctica's regularly visited sites

* Offers travel tips, including weather considerations and landing sites

Soft cover, 512 pages.

Antarctica by Jeff Rubin. Published by Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 0864427727. Recommended retail price $19.99.

Ready for the ultimate adventure? Whether you want to trek in the footsteps of Shackleton and Scott or cruise amongst the icebergs, this is the definitive guide to carryw ith you to the loneliest of lands. INside you'll find

Soft cover, 376 pages. Published in 2002.

Antarctica: Beyond the Southern Ocean by Colin Monteath. Recommended retail price $29.95.

Colin Monteath is a hugely respected New Zealand mountaineer, writer and photographer. Surprisingly our paths have never crossed apart from a phone conversation, but I have the utmost respect for his work which speaks for itself. Due to the inadequacies of our scanner, Colin's name has been left off the photo of the cover, for which I apologize.

Antarctica: Beyond the Southern Ocean is a celebration of the deep south. The first section covers the subantarctic islands of South Georgia and the Falklands, as well as Australian and New Zealand subantarctics. The second looks at the Antarctic ice cap, while the third traces human activity on this surprisingly fragile yet harsh environment. The last examines the unique life cycles and adaptations of Antarctica's wildlife. The book is profusely illustrated in color, two examples of Colin's stunning photos are given below. Hard cover, 160 pages. Published in 1997.

Adelie penguins (Photo by Colin Monteath) (54.90K)

Albatross, Southern Ocean sunset (Photo by Colin Monteath) (45.62K)

Antarctic Birds: Ecological and Behavioral Approaches by David Freeland Parmalee. Published by University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0816620008. Recommended retail price $39.95.

Antarctic birds have made their home in the most inhospitable environment on earth. In this book author David Parmalee uses his research to give us some insight into this demanding lifestyle. Subsidized by the National Science Foundation David led a research team to study birds that inhabit the Antarctic landscape, including unexplored areas of the Palmer Archipelago. Written for the ever-increasing number of educators, scientists, nd tourists who are captivated by Antarctica, Antarctic Birds is a comprehensive overview of ecological and behavioral information. The many tables and extensive coverage of the literature offer authoritative insights. Hard Cover, 203 pages.

 Picture of Antarctic Partners cover

Antarctic Partners: 50 Years of New Zealand and United States Cooperation in Antarctica, 1957-2007 by Neville Peat. ISBN 9780958283809. Published by Phantom House. Recommended retail price $24.95.       

‘A partnership well worth  celebrating’ is how Sir Edmund Hillary sums up the way New Zealand and the United States have worked together in Antarctica over the 50 years since their stations were established on Ross Island in the Ross Sea Region south of New Zealand.  Sir Edmund, the leading New Zealand figure at the outset of the partnership in the 1956-57 summer, describes the partnership as ‘unique’ among the 28 nations active today in the world’s coldest, windiest, highest, driest, loneliest and last-discovered continent.

This book is a richly illustrated and at times dramatic account of the dynamics of New Zealand-United States cooperation in Antarctica – the way people get to and from Antarctica by air and sea, the day-to-day reality of living and conducting science in a frozen desert, diplomatic links through the Antarctic Treaty System, the need for search-and-rescue capability, and the extraordinary collaboration between Antarctic scientists from the two nations.

The history of the partnership is trace from that first summer – when United States Rear Admiral George Dufek and Sir Edmund cemented a productive friendship – to the present day.

New Zealand’s Scott Base, a compact cluster of buildings, was erected just three kilometres/two miles from McMurdo Station, America’s main base in Antarctica and the continent’s only ‘town.’  They are genial and accommodating neighbors in the least hospitable place on Earth.

Neville Peat, who lives in Dunedin, the southern New Zealand city that made Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd welcome, is the author of more than 30 books.  His first titles were on Antarctic themes following the two summers he spent at Scott Base in the late 1970s as a journalist and photographer.  He travelled to Antarctica again in January 2007 to catch up on the changes at Scott Base and McMurdo Station. Paperback, 122 pages. Published in 2007.

Mawson’s Huts: An Antarctic expedition journal by Alasdair McGregor. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868066532. Recommended retail price $26.

In early January 1912, a party of 18 young men landed on a small rocky peninsula on the coast of Antarctica, directly to the south of Australia. In doing so, they had journeyed past the edge of the then known world. Over the next two years they struggled against appalling winds and cold, yet managed toe explore significant tracts of the ice-bound coast and hinterland in pursuit of scientific knowledge. Their leader was a 30-year-old geologist from Adelaide, Dr. Douglas Mawson. The story of his survival after the death of two companions while far from the expedition’s base camp has justly become the stuff of legend.

Nearly 86 years later another party landed on the still remote and wild Cape Denison, the site of Mawson’s winter quarters. Their aim was to rescue the huts that Mawson’s men sheltered and worked in from the unrelenting assaults of wind, ice and time. In so doing the party ensured that these rare and priceless relics from the heroic era of Antarctic exploration, the age of Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton, would survive to their centenary and beyond. Soft cover, 194 pages.

Shackleton, The Antarctic Challenge by Kim Heacox. Published by National Geographic. ISBN 0792275365. Recommended retail price $35.

"Ernest Shackleton has unquestionably always been my greatest hero! His courage and unfailing spirit were exceeded only by his superb qualities of leadership. Those who read this excellent book cannot but be overwhelmed by a story of a remarkable character." --Sir Edmund Hillary

Shackleton: The Antarctic Challenge celebrates polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, his heroic colleagues, and the forbidding continent they hoped to conquer. In the finest tradition of National Geographic, it is illustrated with historic photographs and watercolors brought back by Shackleton - many never seen before - as well as stunning modern images that capture the glacial beauty of the remote and awe-inspiring land he explored. Kim Heacox's compelling text is a complete biography of Sir Ernest Shackleton - and an engrossing look at the world of polar exploration in its heyday.

In August 1914, as World War I began, Ernest Shackleton and a small band of explorers sailed for Antarctica aboard a ship called Endurance. Few expeditions have been more aptly named - and few leaders more courageous or inspirational. For two years, Shackleton and his men battled the elements in a saga that nearly defies description. Amazingly, not a man was lost... but their extraordinary feat was eclipsed by the Great War, and for three quarters of a century was all but forgotten. No longer; interest in Shackleton and Antarctica has never been greater. Yet even now, he is remembered for only one extraordinary expedition. But there is far more to Sir Ernest Shackleton - and this wonderful book tells the whole story.

His first encounter with the Antarctic was with Robert Scott, who would become his foremost rival. On his second attempt, he turned back within reach of the South Pole, preferring to save himself and his men rather than pushing on and dying on the return trip, as his former mentor Scott famously chose to do. "Better a live mule than a dead lion," he remarked to his wife upon his return, but in the end he died in the Antarctic that called him back, and back again, and he was buried there at his wife's behest.

Now at last, here is a book that tells the whole story of an explorer who ranks with Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus, James Cook and Sir Richard Burton in his determination to follow his vision and his dream.

Shackleton; The Antarctic Challenge is adventure literature par excellence; a remarkable portrait in words and arresting images of an unforgiving world and a small, indomitable fraternity who refused to surrender to relentless hardship. Hard cover, 216 pages. Published in 1998.

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