The British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) 1929-30, 1930-31

In 1929 Douglas Mawson organised and led his second expedition to Antarctica; the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition. Part of the reason for this expedition was to carry out further exploration and scientific activities in Antarctic land claimed by Britain, in order to solidify her territorial claims. With Scott’s ship Discovery made available to him by the British Government, they sailed from Cape Town on 29 October 1929. The expedition aimed to use Discovery to make extensive geological and biological investigations with the assistance of aircraft, rather than setting up land bases, over the course of two summer seasons.

The First Season

During the first season, several aerial surveys were carried out confirming an extensive new coast named MacRobertson Land. On 13 January 1930 a party landed on Proclamation Island, where the British flag was raised and a claim was read to land extending from 45°E to 160°E, excluding Adelie Land. Whilst Mawson wanted to stay longer; at the insistence of Captain Davis, who feared running short of coal, the season ended and Discovery headed north.

November 1930
The Second Season

On 22 November 1930 Discovery sailed from Hobart for a second season, calling at Macquarie Island and searching for a group of islands reported by early whalers (but now known not to exist). On 4 January 1931 Discovery visited Cape Denison, allowing Mawson to visit the main base from his Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Magnetic readings were taken and it was discovered that the Magnetic South Pole had moved considerably since their last readings taken in 1914. The ship then continued its survey along Adelie and Wilkes Land, as well as several coastlines, using flights and landings to reinforce surveys taken from Discovery.

Return to Hobart

The expedition returned to Hobart on 19 March 1931, with the work undertaken by the party used by the British Order in Council to reaffirm British sovereignty to the area and then pass control to the Commonwealth of Australia. The expedition achieved much over the two austral summers, with much of the coastline mapped for the first time and demonstrating the coastline was continuous from the Ross Sea to Enderby Land. The scientific work undertaken took many years to gather and prepare, with much appearing in scientific reports but some still unpublished today. The main achievements of the expedition were, however, in marine science, which included extensive oceanographic work and marine sampling.

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