Lifestyle

Enchanting barren beauty on Antarctic adventure

Julie Murray is back from Anarctic.
Julie Murray is back from Anarctic. John Gass

ASK Australians and New Zealanders what Antarctica means to them, and the answer will probably be that it's part of our history and unique.

A place where heroes were forged and have become part of our heritage.

Julie and Bruce Murray of Kingscliff joined an Antarctic cruise with a difference on the cruise ship Explorer.

"We'd seen a David Attenborough documentary which was unforgettable and also it's perhaps the last pristine environment on Earth, we wanted to see it while we can and whoever visits are unanimous that it must be preserved and protected," Julie said.

"Also we wanted to see Shackleton's Memorial. He died on a third visit there of a heart attack.

"My husband Bruce was a geographer and he's interested in glaciers, he wasn't disappointed."

On board were specialist lecturers on every aspect of Antarctica, among them were historians, ornithologists, marine biologists and each morning and night passengers were briefed on what to expect.

Julie remembers the icebergs. "They reminded me of Salvador Dali's sculptures with some, hundreds of feet high with colours and shapes that are constantly changing and the reflections are amazing because they are in perpetual motion, it's an ever-changing panorama of surprise and beauty."

There were elephant, weddell and leopard seals, and the endless sky with wheeling albatross...

The month of December is when the pack ice is generally navigable, and passengers embark on large rubber craft to visit wildlife ashore.

"Some highlights were the dignified and curious penguins who have no fear."

"There were elephant, weddell and leopard seals, and the endless sky with wheeling albatross and, depending on conditions, some cruises also include the historical and preserved huts and museums of the area."

The Antarctic is vast and unique and several nations have bases there. Environmental standards and protocols are strictly observed by all, such as controlled landings, the frequency and duration of time spent ashore, the number of boats in one area, and the number of people ashore at any one time.

"We also went to Ernest Shackleton's Memorial, he had joined Robert Scott's first expedition to the South Pole 1901/1902 but due to sickness was sent back to England.

"He became convinced that he had failed and returned in 1914, on the sailing ship Endurance with 28 men.

"His second attempt to reach the South Pole failed, when his ship drifted

for nine months on ice floes before being crushed by the pack ice.

"What history remembers is not his failure - but his extraordinary trek with Frank Worsley, skipper of the Endurance to save his stranded men.

"Twenty eight survived because of their heroic journey against impossible odds, and their leadership and determination to survive."

Was David Attenborough right?

"Yes, he was right, it's amazingly beautiful, and, as near to pristine as it could be, an unforgettable trip of a lifetime."

Topics:  antarctica, tweed treasures



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Warmer weather continues on our Coast

The weather in Coffs Harbour over the past month has been picture perfect.

April was warmer and drier than average. Especially at night.

VIDEO: Powder samples cause council evacuations

No Caption

A sample product to deodorise rubbish bins kicked up a stink

Ex-serviceman to sell his house to build memorial garden

LEST WE FORGET: Local ex-serviceman, Barry Gracey is on a mission to create a memorial garden at the battleground in Pozieres, France.

Ex-serviceman to sell his house to build memorial garden

Latest deals and offers


Dash cam as car rolls dodging rabbit

A car rolls over after dodging a rabbit.

This is why they say don't swerve for wildlife.

ACF take Minister to Court

ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy

The Australian Conservation Foundation go to court to stop Carmichael mine.

Dash Cam: Roo takes on car

Kangaroo leaps car.

Kangaroo could have kept going, jumps car instead.

Renting harder in Coffs than Sydney

HIGH DEMAND: Coffs Harbour rental properties are in higher demand than in Sydney.

Coffs Harbour’s rental vacancy rate at lowest level in eight years

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.