Macquarie Island is located halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica (Anderson Peninsula) and Antarctica-New Zealand (approx 630 km / 390 mi southwest of Auckland Island NZ). Since 1900, this territory belongs to Australia's Tasmania state. In 1978, it was designated "Tasmanian State Reserve" and since 1997 is listed as "UNESCO World Heritage Site". The island has length 34 km (21 mi), width 5 km (3 mi), total area approx 128 km2 (49 mi2) and highest elevation point (Mt Hamilton) is 410 m (1345 ft).
The island is best known for its large colony of royal penguins and the Macquarie Island Station - research station permanently maintained by the Australian Antarctic Division since 1947. Base's personnel is island's only population (20-40 people through the year). Near the station, there is a heliport serving aircraft deployed from icebreaking ships and other supply vessels.
The newest Australian icebreaker RSV Nuyina (launched 2019) supplies with cargo, equipment and personnel four permanent Australian bases - three in Antarctica (Mawson, Davis, Casey) and the one on Macquarie Island. Additionally, the ship serves as research laboratory with passenger capacity up to 116 scientific staff.
As cruise port, Macquarie Island is included (as an overnight stay) in the itinerary program of Ponant's newest superyacht - Le Laperouse (2018-built). Next table shows the unique 15-day itinerary as ports and dates. Prices started from USD 8800 pp (double occupancy rates).
|Date / Time||Port|
|04 Jan||Departing from Hobart, Tasmania|
|08-09 Jan (overnight)||Macquarie Island, Tasmania|
|11 Jan||Campbell Island, New Zealand|
|12 Jan||Enderby Island, New Zealand|
|13 Jan||Auckland Island, New Zealand|
|14 Jan||Snares Islands, New Zealand|
|15-16 Jan||Milford Sound (Fiordland NP), New Zealand|
|17 Jan||Arriving in Dunedin, Port Chalmers, New Zealand|