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Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Background

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

These uninhabited, barren, sub-Antarctic islands were transferred from the UK to Australia in 1947. Populated by large numbers of seal and bird species, the islands have been designated a nature preserve.

About

Heard Island and McDonald Islands are uninhabited, barren, sub-Antarctic islands in the Southern Ocean, far due south of India and roughly 200 miles southeast of Kerguelen of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. The islands are administered by Australia.

Read more about Heard Island and McDonald Islands in our Heard Island and McDonald Islands travel guide »

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Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Full name
Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Location

islands in the Indian Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica

Geographic coordinates

53 06 S, 72 31 E

Area comparative

slightly more than two times the size of Washington, DC

Coastline

101.9 km

Climate

antarctic

Terrain

Heard Island - 80% ice-covered, bleak and mountainous, dominated by a large massif (Big Ben) and an active volcano (Mawson Peak); McDonald Islands - small and rocky

Lowest point

Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Mawson Peak on Big Ben volcano 2,745 m

Natural resources

fish

Population

uninhabited

Internet country code

.hm

Ports and terminals

none; offshore anchorage only

Other countries in the region