Hobart is one of five global Antarctic gateway cities with a unique geographic, cultural and economic connection to Antarctica.

The five cities are:

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Hobart, Australia
  • Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Ushuaia, Argentina.

The City of Hobart celebrates and promotes the cultural and economic significance of the Antarctic sector to Tasmania through:

  • staging an annual reception at the start of the Antarctic summer season to wish expeditioners well
  • promoting the gateway city status through street banners and lighting
  • sharing social media content from key partners such as the Australian Antarctic Division
  • promoting Antarctic related events taking place in the city and surrounds
  • contributing funding and in kind support for Antarctic related projects.

The City of Hobart was a partner and contributor to the 4 year project 'Antarctic Cities: From Gateways to Custodial Cities'. The project, completed in 2021, was an academic study led by the University of Western Sydney and UTAS which investigated a changing role of the traditional Antarctic Gateway Cities.

Antarctic Cities: From Gateways to Custodial Cities - 2021 Report

The Tasmanian Government supports our Antarctic sector through a suite of policies and initiatives dedicated to supporting growth of the sector as outlined in the Tasmanian Antarctic Gateway Strategy.

Tasmanian Antarctic Gateway Strategy

Gateway Cities map

CityTalks: Exploring Hobart's Antarctic Future

Streamed live on 26 October 2021.

A conversation about Hobart's vital relationship with Antarctica.

How does Hobart's unique role as one of the five Antarctic Gateway cities influence its urban identity and future city shaping policies? This CityTalks conversation unpacks how Hobart's future is shaped by its strong connection and global stewardship role in Antarctica.

Australian Antarctic Program

Australian Antarctic Program

The Australian Antarctic Program, centered in Greater Hobart, operates as part of a collaborative partnership that includes more than 150 national and international research institutions. The most recent economic analysis on the contribution to the Tasmanian economy in 2019-20 estimated that the Antarctic sector generated $158.7M in expenditure in Tasmania with expenditure and employment levels continuing to rise annually.

In late October each year, Hobart welcomes and farewells over 750 Australian and international expedition leaders, scientists, tradespeople and support staff who gather in Hobart prior to their Antarctic journey. This time of the year is marked by the City of Hobart's Opening of the Antarctic Season Reception, an event that celebrates the City's Antarctic connection.

Antarctic Treaty

The Antarctic Treaty unites nations who recognise that " is in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes...", and was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by twelve nations including Australia. In 2021 there are 48 signatories with 29, including the original 12, controlling the decision making process.

The Antarctic Treaty System is recognised globally as one of the most outstanding and successful international agreements, setting an example of peaceful cooperation.

Through this agreement, Antarctic research has contributed significantly to knowledge of the Earth and the protection of the global environment.

The Treaty System includes recommendations, measures, decisions and resolutions relating to matters such as scientific cooperation, protection of the Antarctic environment, conservation of plants and animals and management of tourism.

Original Antarctic Treaty

Tasmanian Antarctic Sector

Australian Antarctic Division (AAD)

The Australian Antarctic Division is part of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. The Division leads, coordinates and delivers the Australian Antarctic Program.

Office: Kingston, Tasmania

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RSV Nuyina

Nuyina at sea (Photo: Pete Harmsen/AAD)

Photo: Pete Harmsen/AAD

Australia's new icebreaker and research ship the RSV Nuyina arrived in Hobart in October 2021.

A range of great resources can be found on the official website, including:

  • science capabilities information
  • stories about the icebreaker
  • webcams from the bow and stern of the ship.

Nuyina website

Australian Antarctic Program (AAP)

Australia's activities in Antarctica, from scientific research through to logistics and transport, are coordinated through the Australian Antarctic Program.

The Program is highly collaborative, with partnerships across government and more than 150 national and international research institutions.

A list of national and international organisations related to the work of the Australian Antarctic Program on the related organisations page.

AAP Antarctic educational resources teaching the amazing science happening by Australians in and around Antarctica. Find lesson plans, hands-on activities and detailed booklets for teachers and students, all mapped to the science curriculum on the Education - RiAus website.

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Antarctic Tasmania

Antarctic Tasmania is a dedicated unit within the Tasmanian State Government that is committed to growing the contribution of the international Antarctic sector to Tasmania's economy, community and brand.

Office: Department of State Growth – Parliament Square, Hobart

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Tasmanian Polar Network (TPN)

TPN is a unique alliance of local and national businesses and research bodies. It is an independent member based organisation with members drawn from all areas of the Tasmanian Antarctic community. The TPN's mission is to strengthen, promote and grow Tasmania's business, education, training and research expertise in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean sector.

Office: Salamanca Place, Hobart

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Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. CCAMLR (Cam-a-lar) is an international commission with 26 members countries with a further 10 countries acceded to the Convention.

Office: Macquarie Street, Hobart

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University of Tasmania – Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)

IMAS is a world-class centre of excellence for research and education that delivers three core programs in Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ecology and Biodiversity, and Oceans and Cryosphere. The three programs are linked by the cross-disciplinary themes of Climate change, Ocean-Earth systems and Oceans and Antarctic governance.

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Tasmanian Ports Corporation (TasPorts)

Run services for Antarctic research and supply vessels from their Hobart Port.

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Hobart Airport

Home Airport to Australia's Antarctic Aviation Program. The program operates an intercontinental air service (Airlink) between Hobart Airport and Wilkins Runway in Antarctica over the summer months.

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