Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island is an island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica. Regionally part of Oceania and politically a part of Tasmania, Australia, since 1900, it became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978 and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

It was a part of Esperance Municipality until 1993, when the municipality was merged with other municipalities to form Huon Valley Council. The island is home to the entire royal penguin population during their annual nesting season. Ecologically, the island is part of the Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra ecoregion. Earthquakes occur there about once per year.

It is a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only place on earth where rocks from the earth's mantle (6 km below the ocean floor) are being actively exposed above sea-level. The island lies in latitudes known as the 'Furious Fifties' because of the frequency of very strong winds and stormy seas, which have sculpted the island.

Since 1948, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, on the isthmus at the northern end of the island at the foot of Wireless Hill. The population of the base, constituting the island's only human inhabitants, usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year. A heliport is located nearby.

In September 2016, the Australian Antarctic Division said it would close its research station on the island in 2017. Frederick Hasselborough, an Australian, discovered the uninhabited island on 11 July 1810 when looking for new sealing grounds. Macquarie was created a nature reserve in 1933, and it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

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