Scenery
Cool fact…
Mackerel icefish are one of the most common fish species found in the shallower waters of the Kerguelen Plateau and along with Patagonian toothfish, form the basis for a commercial fishery in the region. Icefish are remarkable because they lack haemoglobin or red blood cells, resulting in blood that is an opalescent white/gray in colour, and cream coloured gills, liver and heart.

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 updated on 28 February 2005.