Discovery: Heard Island McDonald Islands

by Brad August 18, 2011 2 min read

Welcome to the first in our new series called Discovery.

This is where we spend hours scouring Google Earth for epic looking setups that have almost certainly never been surfed before. When we find somewhere interesting and inaccessible enough we will publish it for your mind-surfing pleasure. As part of this series we are also challenging you, our dear readers, to be the first to get to these crazy places and send us your story and images. If you seriously do try let us know so we can help you document the adventure. Imagine having some remote, perfect, crazy wave named for eternity after you. And your very own surf video to go with it.

Now, if a picture is worth a thousand words then our first spot could be something very special. Considering a creepy Google satellite snapped this island in a millisecond you will salivate at the potential it displays. Remember this is a photo taken in a single moment – and it is literally cranking around the entire place. Ok, ok, we have to concede that it looks damn cold (the land mass is covered in snow) and it’s pretty much part of Antarctica but, hey, it’s still an Australian Territory, it boasts a live volcano and the surf is almost certainly pumping right about…now.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) is a subantarctic island group located in the Southern Ocean, about 4,000 kilometres south west of mainland Australia. Basically that is in the middle of absolutely nowhere. It was used as a sealing station in the mid-19th Century but has remained pretty much uninhabited ever since. To call it lonely is an understatement.

You’ll probably need to know your blue tits from your magpies but, hey, you’ll also get to surf some potentially epic waves all by yourself.

Although you won’t find good conversation here, the islands and surrounding waters teem with wildlife and other natural wonders. It is a bird watching and fishing wonderland. If you would like to catch a ride to Heard and McDonald Islands there is a bird watching expedition heading out that way later this year. Google it. You’ll probably need to know your blue tits from your magpies but, hey, you’ll also get to surf some potentially epic waves all by yourself.

And despite the name of the islands the only thing you’ll find there that resembles a cheeseburger is a gigantic, hairy Elephant Seal. Yum.

Click to view slideshow.

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