CDs, DVDs, videos and audio tapes

Documentaries available from Screen Australia:

Frozen Images: Features the great Australian documentary maker Frank Hurley and his personal stories and films from expeditions to Antarctica since early in the 20th century. Hurley's intrepid camera work illuminates the natural beauty, scientific wealth and environmental fragility of Antarctica and provides a dramatic background to Australia's continuing national interests in the region.

The Loneliest Mountain: The story of a daring and hazardous journey to conquer Mount Minto in Antarctica.

Phillip Law: A look at the life of Phillip Law who held the position of Director of the Australian Antarctic Division for nearly twenty years and led numerous voyages to explore the coast of the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Spirit of Adventure: From exploring Antarctica to being the first to fly a plane across the Pacific, the restless nature of Australians has often been harnessed to drive the country forward.

Antarctica 1948: This film was made as a record of operations of the Australian National Research Expedition to Antarctica, November 1947 to April 1948. It begins with the naval ship LST 3501 departing Western Australia with 15 men who will establish the first permanent station on Heard Island. The film follows their stormy ocean crossing, difficult landing, reconnaissance and construction of the campsite. It also features the journey of another ship, Wyatt Earp, from Melbourne to Antarctica and back via Macquarie Island, and includes footage of scientific work as well as the stunning Antarctic landscape and wildlife.

DVDs and videos on many Antarctic subjects are available to purchase from a variety of stores:

The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition, 2007: In 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton set sail aboard The Endurance to become the first man to cross the frozen wastes of the Antarctic continent by foot … He and his crew would not be heard from again for almost two years.

March of the Penguins, National Geographic Society, 2006 (DVD): In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family. This courtship will begin with a long journey - a journey that will take them hundreds of miles across the continent by foot, in freezing cold temperatures, in brittle, icy winds and through deep, treacherous waters. They will risk starvation and attack by dangerous predators, under the harshest conditions on earth, all to find true love.

Surviving Extremes, ABC, 2006 (DVD): In 1911 Douglas Mawson sailed to the Antarctic. He travelled over the ice cap with dog teams on a journey that ended in the tragic death of his two companions and, remarkably, his own survival. In the 1990s, Australian Andy Thomas lived with American astronauts aboard Russia's Mir space station. They endured psychological isolation, the worst fire in space history and a collision with another spacecraft. Although almost a hundred years apart, the two journeys tell us a lot about the sort of personalities that will cope with future missions to Mars.

Frank Hurley - Man who made history, ABC, 2005 (DVD): One of the last of the great imperial adventurers, he captured some of the earliest images of the world's most inhospitable and uncharted territories. This is a new retrospective which retraces Hurley's footsteps, from the Antarctic, Belgium, Papua New Guinea and Israel to Australia, revealing a grand illusionist with an instinctive appreciation for the power of the photograph.

Shackleton, ABC series, 2002 (DVD): A recreation of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated journey to the South Pole in 1914, it's a modern drama about a contradictory hero whose idiosyncratic leadership triumphs in the face of unbelievable adversity.

Life in the Freezer, BBC Productions, 1994 (DVD): Presented by David Attenborough, Life in the Freezer traces Antarctica’s seasonal cycle, and its astonishingly rich and varied forms of wildlife, from the long winter months when the formation of ice almost doubles its surface area, to the brief summer when the race to breed really heats up.

Mysteries of the Ocean Wanderers, ABC, 1993: A wonderful film about the largest and most majestic of all sea birds, the wandering albatross (also with footage of elephant and fur seals, sooty albatross and king penguins).

Wolves of the Sea, ABC, 1993: Made by award-winning husband and wife filmmaking team, David Parer and Elizabeth Parer-Cook, this remarkable documentary on the killer whale features incredible underwater footage of pods of killer whales.

The Silence Calling, ABC Productions, 1997: Fifty years ago Australians went to Antarctica to claim its territory and resources. This is the story of how Australia came to lead the world in understanding and conserving this last great wilderness. Narrated by Tim Bowden, the documentary explores the history of Australia’s research in the Antarctic and studies its profound effect on our planet.

Other audio-visual material may be available for loan from your school library, curriculum libraries, or local state library, including:

Breaking the Ice, ABC Productions, 1996: Tim Bowden embarks upon a voyage to Australia’s Antarctic Territory.

Douglas Mawson, the Survivor, ABC Productions, 1982: A dramatised reconstruction of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic expedition, in particular the 1912 trip in which two of Mawson’s team died leaving Mawson to struggle alone back to a base camp at Commonwealth Bay.

The Last Husky - The Final Journey of Antarctica’s Sledge Dogs, Aurora Films, 1993: A record of the end of the era of sledge dogs in Antarctica which explains the reason for their departure and examines the contribution of these working dogs over the past 100 years.

What’s for Dinner, Thank You (Windows and Macintosh), Data Works, Creative Educational Software, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 1995: Interactive animations of the Antarctic food web.

Many video titles on Antarctic themes have been produced by the Natural History Unit of TVNZ. All videos are available from the Visitor Centre at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. See their website for descriptions of the videos and ordering details.

This page was last modified on August 5, 2015.