City’s links to Antarctica

Article image - City’s links to Antarctica RSV Aurora Australis.

The Greater Hobart community has hailed the importance of Antarctica to Hobart’s identity, as the city officially said farewell to the much-loved RSV Aurora Australis.

According to a new survey commissioned by the Antarctic Cities Project, more than 72 percent of Greater Hobart residents felt Antarctica was important to Hobart’s identity. 

The survey also found more than one in three people believed Hobart should prioritise becoming a leading international scientific centre for the icy continent.

The survey quizzed locals in Antarctica’s five gateway cities of Hobart; Cape Town in South Africa; Christchurch, New Zealand; Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina. 

The findings underlined Hobart’s love affair with Antarctica with almost one in five respondents having attended an Antarctic-related cultural activity.

The survey came as Hobart farewelled the P&O owned RSV Aurora Australis after more than three decades of service.

The distinctive and much-loved orange vessel chartered annually by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) was farewelled at a Town Hall reception last month to celebrate the ship and reflect on its service.

Lord Mayor, Anna Reynolds said Hobart had long been recognised and celebrated globally as an Antarctic gateway city.

“These new survey results underline just how much the people of Greater Hobart also value our links to the frozen continent.”

Mayor Reynolds said Hobart’s passion for its Antarctic connections was also reflected in its deep affection for the RSV Aurora Australis.

“When we farewelled the vessel, we closed an important chapter in our relationship with Antarctica while also looking forward to the arrival of the new vessel.”

Cr Reynolds said City of Hobart was proud to play its part in promoting Hobart’s Gateway City status.

“As well as being immensely important to our identity, the Antarctic link also supports employment opportunities and brings economic benefits to our city.”

Hobart’s status as a gateway to Antarctica will be celebrated this month when several Hobart landmarks are lit up in an icy blue, along with Antarctic themed street banners and Antarctic content playing on The Loop digital art screen.