Where is Heard Island and McDonald Islands? Both of these are situated in the Southern Ocean, approximately 4000 kilometers southwest of the Australian mainland. It is a volcanic group of Antarctic islands, which are about two thirds of the way between Madagascar to Antarctica. These islands occupy an overall space of 372 square kilometers, stretching 101.9 km in coastline.
Where is Heard Island and McDonald Islands historically? Since 1947, these islands have been a part of Australia and were discovered in the 19th century. Heard Island is the largest groups of islands that are mountainous and covered by 41 glaciers. The McDonald Islands are 44 kilometers away towards the west side of Heard Island. These are rocky and small. These islands consisted of McDonald Island, flat Island, and Meyer Rock in 1980.
These islands are one of the most remote places in the world. They can be reached from Perth for a distance of 4099 km southwest, from southwest of Cape Leeuwin, Australia for 3845 km, 3830 km southeast from Madagascar, 450 km southeast from Kerguelen Islands, 1630 km from north of Antarctica and at a distance of 4200 km southeast of South Africa. These islands had no recorded visitors until the 1850s and the first person to discover the island was a British sailor, Peter Kemp.
Some sailors inhabited these islands during 1855 to 1880 and in its peak period, it consisted of a community of 200 people. This archipelago is a world heritage site since 1997 and a number of shipwrecks have taken place in its vicinity.
What are some of the places to visit in Heard Island and McDonald Islands? Currently, these islands are not inhabited and getting there will require careful planning and preparation and possibly permission from the Australian Antarctic Division. You can find a large number of bird species and seals on these islands, which is a dedicated nature reserve. There are 4 types of penguins located on Heard Island.
Some of the places to visit in Heard Island and McDonald Islands are naturally occurring vegetation communities for nature lovers such as Open cushion field, which are the most abundant vegetation type and the most widespread. Other terrestrial environments for vegetation include Fellfield, Mossy Fellfield, Coastal biotic, Saltspray vegetation and closed cushion field. In terms of climate, the islands have an Antarctic climate with strong winds and frequent precipitation. Snowfall on the island occurs throughout the year.