Mawson is situated on an isolated outcrop of rock on the coast in Mac Robertson Land, at the edge of the Antarctic plateau. In the coastal region, the plateau surface is mostly blue ice. Occasionally the ice covered by light snow in winter and spring.
The station is near 3 specially protected areas of environmental significance. It is also near the Prince Charles Mountains. This series of nunataks, mountain peaks and flat-topped massifs are the largest and most well exposed cross-section of the East Antarctic Shield.
The Mawson region is one of the richest areas for seabirds in the Australian Antarctic Territory.
This area supports breeding colonies of emperor and Adélie penguins, snow petrels, Antarctic petrels (the largest colony in Antarctica with 158,000 breeding pairs), Wilson’s storm petrels, cape petrels, southern giant petrels, Antarctic fulmars and skuas.
Wildlife seen at Mawson includes: