Status: These islands are a territory of Australia.
Climate: Antarctic conditions prevail year round.
Coordinates: 53°1 S, 73°5 E
General Information: Some of the most isolated islands on the planet, Heard Island (394 sq km), is large compared to the smaller islands (basically the specs of land) of the McDonald group, including Flat Island, McDonald Island, Shag Island and Meyer Rock.
Location Description: Sitting in the Indian Ocean near Antarctica, the islands are approximately 3,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia. You can only reach the islands by sea as there is no suitable landing site for aircraft, and to do so one must sail through the notorious Southern Indian Ocean, amongst the most ferocious seas in the world. The "Roaring 402s" and the "Screaming 502s" create mountainous seas, with swells of 12m common place.
Terrain: Heard Island is dominated by a snow-capped volcano (2,750 meters) named Big Ben. The volcano has erupted at least eight times since 1910. Its main vent called Mawson Peak is named for Australia's famous Antarctic explorer.