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Heard Island and McDonald Islands

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Island nations : Islands of the Southern Ocean : Heard Island and McDonald Islands
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Heard Island and McDonald Islands

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Heard Island and McDonald Islands [1] are uninhabited, barren, sub-Antarctic islands in the Southern Ocean, far due south of India and roughly 200 miles southeast of Kerguelen of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. The islands are administered by Australia.



  • Heard Island - by far the largest
  • Shag Island - smaller island north of Heard
  • McDonald Islands - two small islands west of Heard


Heard Island is largely ice-covered, bleak and mountainous and is dominated by a large massif (Big Ben) and by an active volcano (Mawson Peak). The McDonald Islands are small, rocky and actively volcanic. The islands are populated by large numbers of seal and bird species, and have been designated a nature reserve. There are 4 types of penguins that are located on Heard Island

Get in[edit]

Visiting these islands will require careful planning and preparation as there are no permanent human inhabitants. Access will require either mounting or joining an expedition. Because of the islands' status as a nature reserve, permission to land from the Australian Antarctic Division will be necessary; landings can only be made on the McDonald Islands for "compelling scientific reasons".

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

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There is no economic activity on Heard or the McDonald Islands.


There are two structures on the island, a ruined sealers hut near Oil Barrel Point, and an apple hut of unknown condition at the northern end of Atlas Cove.

Stay Safe[edit]

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