Commander Carsten Borchgrevink, a young Norwegian, and his crew sailed from London to be the first to spend a winter in Antarctica.
On 17 February 1899, Borchgrevink’s British Antarctic (Southern Cross) Expedition landed at Cape Adare, one of the most inhospitable sites on earth, and set up base.
The expedition erected two modest timber huts – a living hut, and a stores hut – that came as a kit from Norway. Today, the huts are surrounded by boxes, sacks of coal, barrels and other miscellaneous stores. The roof of the stores hut was removed in 1900 before the expedition left. It is a tribute to the solidity of their construction that both remain in surprisingly good condition.
Many of the original contents remain intact inside the living hut. The fitted bunks are all still there, the original stove, and many of the stores, clothing and papers are in good condition. The remnants of Borchgrevink’s expedition were overlaid by the use of the hut for most of 1911 by the six members of the Northern Party of Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition.
There is a conservation plan for the site and its collection of more than 1,000 artefacts. Due to its remote location, the site poses a number of logistical challenges. The Norwegian Government is helping to fund the work needed to preserve the huts and their contents. A multi-year work programme began during the 2015 – 2016 season with logistical support provided by Antarctica New Zealand.