Heard Island and McDonald Islands are located in the
Southern Ocean, approximately 1,700 km from the Antarctic continent and
4,100 km south-west of Perth. As the only volcanically active
subantarctic islands they ‘open a window into the earth’, thus providing
the opportunity to observe ongoing geomorphic processes and glacial
dynamics. The distinctive conservation value of Heard and McDonald – one
of the world’s rare pristine island ecosystems – lies in the complete
absence of alien plants and animals, as well as human impact.