Go south young man

Thursday November 03, 2011 Written by Jo

Even now, a trip to Antarctica isn’t all beer and skittles. Yes, modern-day scientists and explorers swaddle themselves in North Face and pack their protein bars, but frostbite is frostbite, however you measure it (with gangrenous fingers, perhaps?).

A hundred years ago, South-Pole exploration was proper Boy’s Own stuff: courage, tragedy, survival and discovery, all wrapped up in hand-knitted jumpers and warmth-giving beards. The National Library of Australia has just released a series of photos from the early days of Antarctic exploration, shot from 1911 to 1914 on Douglas Mawson’s expedition onboard the Aurora. Essential viewing for those who want to get inside the head of the bloke on our $100 note.