The Antarctic makes up nearly 10% of the earth’s landmass and 98% of it is covered by ice. Every year many marine mammals and seabirds migrate between the rich feeding grounds that surround Antarctica and New Zealand's waters. This fragile and unique continent has special significance to New Zealanders and in 1957 Sir Edmund Hillary established Scott Base there.

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

New Zealand’s close association with Antarctica began with discovery over 100 years ago. Today our focus is protection, conservation and research.

Antarctic Treaty System

New Zealand is party to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty and related agreements - together these make up the Antarctic Treaty System.

Proposal to protect part of Ross Sea

In 2013, New Zealand made a joint proposal for 1.3 million square kilometres of the Ross Sea region to become a Marine Protected Area.

Protecting whales in Southern Ocean

New Zealand is opposed to scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean. Instead we're focused on protecting these giant marine mammals.

Travelling to Antarctica

While the Antarctic remains largely unchanged by human intervention, there's international interest in activities being planned, safe and environmentally responsible.

Preparing an expedition

There are certain things you must do if you're leading an expedition to Antarctica. If you're part of a tour, your tour adviser will advise you how to prepare.