Explorer Journeys: Anzac Gallate

Inspiring Explorers Expedition™: Antarctic Peninsula 2020

Anzac Gallate had always wanted to visit the Antarctic, and during the 2020 Inspiring Explorers Expedition, his long-held dream was realised.

When he was a young boy, Anzac Gallate was enchanted by the incredible wildlife of the Antarctic, which sparked a deep fascination for the icy continent. He could never have imagined, that just a few years later as a university student, he would visit the Antarctic, and get up close and personal with some of its amazing creatures. “The animal encounters were pretty surreal and exciting. Seals would swim underneath our kayaks, then pop their heads above the water to give us an inquisitive stare. Penguins played in the water and on the beach, and whales would circle around us before surfacing with a loud snort, and disappearing back into the dark blue water.”

As a keen surfer and ocean lover, Anzac was right at home in his kayak in the glacial water of the Antarctic, which was his happy place on the trip. “We were able to connect with the environment in such a special way from our kayaks – out there in the elements freezing our butts off, with the wind and water on our faces. My favourite excursion was a dusk paddle, when the light seemed almost unnatural. It was a flat grey and gave us a sense of being in an alien environment. We paddled on the glassy water in absolute silence.”

Anzac says it can be hard to describe how foreign, unique, special, and vast the Antarctic is. However, he has been able to provide an incredible first-person viewpoint through the exciting virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) footage he captured on the ice. With the support of Antarctic Heritage Trust, Anzac has been able to incorporate some of this footage, along with his original drawings and writings, to create a beautifully produced Explorer Journal for primary school children. The journal shares some of the amazing stories of the historic explorers, the Trust’s work conserving their bases in Antarctica and is packed full of fun activities linked to exploring.

Anzac’s own thirst for learning, particularly when it comes to the environment and sustainability, has taken a new twist since the expedition. In 2021, he switched degrees to a Marine Science and Ecology degree at the University of Otago.

“I’m passionate about encouraging the next generation of young explorers to get out in their own neighbourhoods and discover their spirit of exploration.”

Find out more about My Explorer Journal.