Antarctic Peninsula

    March 2-17


Do you have a strong curiosity to go out and explore the world?

Do you want to get out of your comfort zone by travelling to the world’s most extreme environment?

Are you interested in learning about Antarctica’s history, environment, wildlife, science and stories of early exploration?

Do you have special skills that will enable you to share these stories with others?

Connecting young people with the spirit of exploration

What are Inspiring Explorers’ Expeditions?

Antarctic Heritage Trust is a New Zealand-based charity with a vision of inspiring explorers. Through its mission to conserve, share and encourage the spirit of exploration, the Trust cares for the remarkable expedition bases of early Antarctic explorers including Scott, Shackleton and Hillary.

The Trust’s Inspiring Explorers’ Expeditions aim to provide opportunities for young people to experience Antarctica and connect them with the legacy of polar exploration. These expeditions engage people with the legacy and spirit of exploration, inspiring a new generation of explorers.

The Trust is providing an opportunity of a lifetime in March 2019 for a group of young people from New Zealand to participate in a ten day expedition off the Antarctic Peninsula. The expedition is heavily sponsored and you will be expected to share your story to inspire others with the spirit of exploration.

This expedition follows on from the success of the Trust’s 2015 Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition crossing South Georgia Island via the Shackleton route, the 2017 Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition climbing Mt Scott on the Antarctic Peninsula, and recently the 2018 Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition to traverse the Greenland ice cap in honour of Fridtjof Nansen.

Where are we going?

The 2019 expedition will see us return to Antarctica. Participants will explore the Antarctic Peninsula by ship with the opportunity for kayak excursions in Antarctic waters with New Zealand Olympian Mike Dawson and expert guides. Travel via ship from South America across the famed Drake Passage with our partner One Ocean Expeditions.

Experience the spirit of the early polar explorers; a remarkable legacy the Trust cares for on behalf of humanity. Learn about the history of Antarctica, its wildlife, science and its importance to the world today.

When are we going?

The expedition will take place from 2 March to 17 March 2019; including travel time from New Zealand and back.

Our Inspiring Explorers will fly to Ushuaia, Argentina, from there they will embark on the voyage south to the Peninsula.

What does the expedition involve?

This expedition will provide up to five participants with the opportunity to explore Antarctica with Antarctic Heritage Trust and Mike Dawson (two-time Olympian and NZ kayak champion).

Expedition partners One Ocean Expeditions and Mike Dawson will lead guided kayaking journeys off a vessel through Antarctic waters.

There will be time to explore the Antarctic Peninsula, and see the marine mammals and wildlife unique to Antarctica. The expedition group may have the opportunity to camp overnight on the ice, however this will depend on weather conditions.

Highlights of this expedition include:

  • An opportunity to experience Antarctica!
  • An opportunity to explore the Antarctic Peninsula with expert guides
  • An opportunity for students to learn and develop new skills, such as kayaking
  • An opportunity to join Olympian Mike Dawson and One Ocean Expedition kayak guides for kayaking adventures off a vessel
  • A night camping on the ice (subject to conditions)
  • The chance to get out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before

Why are we doing this expedition?

Antarctic Heritage Trust wants to connect young people with the spirit of exploration by providing opportunities for them to go out and explore the world, to get them off their devices and out of their comfort zone. This trip will offer people a chance to push themselves, to connect with experts, and learn about the history, science, wildlife, environment and legacy of exploration in Antarctica. Participants will discover the spirit of exploration in the world’s most extreme environment and experience the spirit of the early polar explorers; a remarkable legacy the Trust cares for on behalf of humanity.

Outreach Programme

Each Inspiring Explorer is expected to conceive and deliver an outreach programme. The focus is on sharing the experience to inspire others to explore.

Meet Mike…

AHT is thrilled to be partnering with Olympic kayaker Mike Dawson, who will be joining the Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition as a kayaking mentor.

Mike Dawson was born in Tauranga in 1986. After taking up kayaking at a young age, the sport quickly became his main focus. He has so far competed in two Olympic Games, has achieved silver and bronze medals in extreme kayaking championships, and has participated in kayaking expeditions in Chile, Uganda, Pakistan and beyond…

“I have loved kayaking ever since I first started doing it as a kid. I’m absolutely stoked to be joining AHT to share my passion for kayaking with other young New Zealanders and hopefully teach people some new skills!”

We will announce our Inspiring Explorers’ team in February 2019 – keep an eye out!

Walking across a blank canvas…

After some time for reflection following the completion the mammoth crossing of the Greenland ice cap, we caught up with Brando Yelavich to get his perspective on the expedition, the biggest challenges he faced, and what he learned about himself through the experience… What was your favourite part of the trip? My favourite part was […]


Take a look at these stunning photos of Scott's Hut, Cape Evans, which was snapped in a Condition 2 storm earlier this week.
The images made us think of expedition member Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s description of the hut, and the refuge it provided, from his book ‘The Worst Journey in the World’…
“Whatever the conditions of darkness, cold and wind might be outside, there was comfort and warmth and good cheer within.”
#Antarctica #explore #discover
Credit: Dr Fiona Shanhun, Antarctica New Zealand
Before and after... Check out Conservation Ambassador Mike's latest blog about working in Hillary's (TAE/IGY) Hut.
Using archival photos for reference, Mike was tasked with constructing a replica duckboard walkway in the covered linkway from the junction box to the entrance of the hut.
Read all about it here: bit.ly/DuckboardBlog
#conserve #Hillary #Antarctica #explore #discover Department of Conservation
Photos: Kim Westerkov, Antarctica New Zealand Pictorial Collection; Mike Gillies
Today, on the 39th anniversary of the Mount Erebus disaster, we remember those who lost their lives, as well as their friends and family.
Photo: By Daniel O'Sullivan, Antarctica New Zealand Pictorial Collection, 2009-2010 season
Antarctic Heritage Trust is delighted to have their 'Still Life', which is a unique audio-visual immersive experience that allows you to ‘step inside’ the historic huts of the British Antarctic explorers, open as part of the Korea National Maritime Museum's new Antarctic exhibition. Complementing the experience are Jane Ussher’s large scale photographs. The exhibition runs at the museum in Busan until March 2019.
More than 100 years ago famous explorers Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton travelled to Antarctica to explore the continent and carry out scientific experiments. They constructed three simple wooden huts as bases that still stand today, packed full of objects the men left behind. This remarkable legacy is cared for by the Antarctic Heritage Trust who are world leaders in cold-climate conservation. 
A century on, renowned New Zealand photographer Jane Ussher photographed the huts in intimate detail, creating an extraordinary record of the explorers’ lives. Her evocative photographs capture the conditions and isolation the men endured exploring Antarctica. 
Still Life was originally developed by Antarctic Heritage Trust and Jane Ussher in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council, New Zealand
#explore #discover #Antarctica #photography #heritage @christchurchnz
The conservation team have been busy in the conservation lab at Scott Base this week, working on some worn and weathered boxes of Tate sugar.
The diet of the sledging man in the early 1900’s revolved around a limited menu and sugar was a highly prized commodity, served out in lumps. For a special treat on your birthday, you might get an extra six lumps of sugar and another serving of chocolate.
Read more about the sweet diet of early Antarctic sledgers at bit.ly/SugarSugarBlog.
#Antarctica #conserve #sugar #discover #explore
Antarctic Heritage Trust Programme Manager Al has joined the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust Port Lockroy conservation team to share conservation knowledge and expertise developed during the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project.
The team will spend five weeks at Port Lockroy, and will undertake emergency repairs, do a full architectural survey, install solar power and schedule future conservation work.
Read more about Al's experience so far, with challenges including living on a small island (approximately 3 acres), and working within a Gentoo Penguin colony! Head to bit.ly/PortLockroyAl.
#Antarctica #Conserve #Explore #Discover
Photo: Base A at Port Lockroy
Credit: UKAHT
'In an Antarctic storm, shelter from the wind is your first priority. Given the loss of visibility in blowing snow, colour and contrast can be helpful. In 1957, the intense orange and yellow of Scott Base was a beacon to those caught out by the weather as well as a vibrant counterpoint to the white ice and snow and the black scoria on Ross Island.'
- Excerpt page 173, 'Hillary's Antarctica'
Read more about the conservation efforts to restore Hillary's (TAE/IGY) Hut to its original colours in 'Hillary's Antarctica', available online at bit.ly/HillarysAntarcticaBook or in bookstores.
Photo credit: Jonny Harrison
#Hillary #explore #discover #antarctica @allenandunwinnz
Wow - This week Trust conservator Lizzie celebrated 1000 days spent on the Ice in Antarctica!! The Trust's conservation team members Martin, Lizzie, Nicola and Mike  celebrated the occasion with this incredible cake made by the chefs at Scott Base.

Congratulations Lizzie on this incredible milestone!

Read more at bit.ly/1000DaysOnIce. 
Photo: Antarctic Heritage Trust

#Antarctica #explore #discover #conserve
What better place to read a book about Sir Ed Hillary's Antarctic adventures, than in Hillary's (TAE/IGY) Hut itself? 
Trust Conservation Ambassador Mike Gillies and heritage carpenter Martin brought a signed copy of 'Hillary's Antarctica' to the hut, where it will remain for visitors to enjoy. 
You can get your very own copy of 'Hillary's Antarctica' at bit.ly/HillarysAntarcticaBook or instores. 
Photo: Antarctic Heritage Trust 
#Antarctica #Hillary #conserve #explore #discover

Thank you!

The Inspiring Explorers team has safely made it home and are now taking some time to reflect on the massive achievement of completing the epic 560km crossing of the Greenland ice cap.

We want to take a moment to acknowledge everyone who contributed to the success of this expedition. A huge thank you to our expedition partners Kathmandu, for their support in keeping us safe and warm in the state-of-the-art XT Series. To Ousland Polar Exploration, and particularly master polar guide Bengt, who ensured that we had a smooth crossing (or at least as smooth as crossing an ice cap can be!), and ‘the weatherman’ Lars, who provided us with fantastic logistical support along the way.

We would also like to thank Lumix and GoPro for providing us with camera equipment that was able to withstand the cold and capture the incredible sights along the way, and to Røde for their support with audio equipment.

We’ve been blown away by the media coverage of the expedition, including features in The Herald, RNZ, Newshub, TVNZ and many more.

Thank you once again to everyone who has followed the expedition, and shown your support for the team as they pushed themselves to reach their goal. We can’t wait to share their experiences with you all over the coming months, and we hope that they have inspired you to do some exploring of your own, however that might look.

They’ve done it!

They’ve battled hurricane conditions, heavy snowfalls and illness, but the 6-person Antarctic Heritage Trust Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition has reached the finish line of their 560-kilometre crossing of the Greenland ice cap.

They made the journey on skis while pulling 60-kilogram supply sleds behind them.

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust selected four young explorers for the expedition from a pool of nearly 200 applicants. Two Kiwis; Brando Yelavich (24) and Hollie Woodhouse (33) and two Australians; Bridget Kruger (30) and Keith Parsons (28). They were joined by AHT Executive Director Nigel Watson and Ousland Polar Exploration master polar guide Bengt Rotmo. 

The team left the west coast of Greenland on May 4 and arrived in the small village of Tasiilaq (on Greendland’s east coast) on Saturday, 2 June. Hollie, Brando and Nigel are now en route to New Zealand.

The crossing is the Trust’s third Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition and proved to be the most challenging one yet. 

Antarctic Heritage Trust

The team upon reaching the east coast

Nigel Watson says the team’s final day saw them ski for 21 hours.

“We set off at 10am. A possible polar bear sighting had us on edge, but it turned out to be an illusion! We continued to ski and eventually saw mountains – there was great excitement after seeing nothing but a flat, white horizon for weeks. We stopped for a hot meal at 1am before reaching the end of our journey at 7am – there were hugs and tears of relief.”

A helicopter then picked up the team and took them to Tasiilaq.

Hollie says arriving into the village was unbelievable.

“The relief in finishing is immense and to finally walk on solid ground after 4 weeks of skiing was a strange feeling. We stayed in a great hotel, dinner was nothing fancy but it was the best. Being warm, showered and seeing each other’s faces properly for the first time in 4 weeks was an odd experience.”

Keith says finishing the journey is bittersweet.

“On the one hand we have accomplished something rather special and momentous, but at the same time it means the end of the experience and everything that went with it: the ice, the struggle and mostly the time together with friends.”

Brando, who completed the first solo circumnavigation of New Zealand’s coastline, says the expedition has been tough.

Antarctic Heritage Trust

Into the great white expanse…

“Physically my biggest challenge was my joints and my feet adjusting to the repetition and the pulling of the sled for 29 consecutive days. Mentally I was consumed by the repetition… the walking and the white were mind numbing at times. It was a great mental challenge”. 

Bridget, who has worked for years as an outdoor instructor and adventure therapist all over the world, says this journey was bigger than anything she has done before.

“It was a huge journey that I was really able to delve into because I wasn’t a guide, just a client with the space to really be me and deal with the massive mental and physical challenges we faced. I’ve never done a winter expedition of this length before with this extent of conditions so it was an incredible opportunity to grow through that.”

The Expedition honoured Fridtjof Nansen, the renowned polar explorer and humanitarian, who completed the first crossing of Greenland 130 years ago in 1888.

New Zealand outdoors company Kathmandu are an expedition sponsor, with the team road testing their new XT Series, designed for extreme environments.

Once home, they will begin tailored outreach programmes supported by the Trust, with the aim of sharing their experiences, and encouraging others to get out and explore.

Trust Executive Director Nigel Watson says that will be the most important part of the expedition.

“The whole reason the Trust undertakes these expeditions is to encourage people to get out and explore the amazing world we live in. By sharing their story, the team has the opportunity to inspire someone else to do something they never have before – an experience that could be life changing.”

Hugs and tears

From Nigel: Woke up after a short sleep. 60km or so to go to the end. Fine weather greeted us. We started at 10am. A possible polar bear sighting had us on edge but it thankfully turned out to be an illusion. We skied on with the British team we had met earlier. We continued to ski on and the conditions improved.
When we saw mountains there was great excitement after just a flat horizon for so many weeks. On and on we skied. After a late lunch break we were back on the skis as the mountains came closer. At 1am we stopped and had a hot meal. Warmed up we were back on the skis. Then a series of downhill slopes had us skiing with pulkas. Not many points for style. Then the sun rose and warmed us up. The end was in sight. At 7am after 21 hours we reached the end. Hugs and tears of relief. We had done it!!
An hour of sleep and then we skied the few hundred meters to the rocky coastal hill before heading back to tents and packing up. The sound of the helicopter approaching meant big smiles all round. Before we knew it we were up and heading to the village of Tasiilaq and civilisation.
A huge thanks to our supporters and everyone for following the expedition. We will be in touch after we have a good sleep!