Scenery
Cool fact…
Comparison of satellite images of McDonald Island taken in 2004 with aerial photography from 1980 shows that the island more than doubled in size over that time as a result of volcanic activity, from about 1 square kilometre to 2.5 square kilometres.

Landforms

Saddle Point and Downes Glacier
Saddle Point and Downes Glacier (Photo: Jocelyn Hughes)

The spectacular landscape at Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) is quite unlike anywhere else in Australia and has few, if any, parallels elsewhere in the world.

Distinctive physical features such as permanent glaciers, an active volcano and coastal lagoons dominate the landscape. However interesting and important geographical features can be found at all scales, ranging down from Big Ben, the 2745 metre high volcano towering over Heard Island, to coastal wetlands, lava tubes, rocky beaches and even the ever-present glassy volcanic grit.

The pages in this section provide an introduction to the geology, geomorphology, glaciology and wetlands of HIMI.

This page was last modified on 28 February 2005.