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Antarctic Tasmania

International engagement and collaboration

Tasmania’s capital city Hobart provides easy access to the Southern Ocean, sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and East Antarctica. Its deep water port and temperate environment provide an ideal gateway for nations undertaking activities in this vast region.

Hobart is home to a thriving Antarctic community and headquarters for our national Antarctic program, managed through the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). The AAD is responsible for the advancement of Australia’s strategic, scientific, environmental and economic interests in Antarctica and it is the major driver of Antarctic activity in Tasmania.

The Institut Polaire Francais, Paule Emile Victor (IPEV) also bases its operations out of Hobart and is an important part of Hobart’s Antarctic community.

Both countries operate their icebreaker research and supply vessels, the Aurora Australis and l’Astrolabe, from Hobart port.  Australia’s marine research vessel, Investigator, has Hobart as its home. Nations including China, Korea, the United States of America and Japan also regularly use Hobart as a gateway for activities in the East Antarctic region.   

International Antarctic and marine research programs collaborate regularly with local scientists, trade with businesses and cooperate with Tasmanian-based Antarctic and Southern Ocean institutions in relation to scientific, logistics, aviation and shipping operations.  

The Tasmanian Government has Memorandum of understandings on Antarctic Gateway Cooperation with both IPEV and the State Oceanic Administration of China. These arrangements emphasise the government’s commitment to international engagement on Antarctic issues and use of the Hobart Antarctic gateway.