Antarctic Pioneers

Australia, 1962


One of Australia’s most famous photographers and explorers, Frank Hurley, presents this absorbing film on the history of Australia’s first expeditions to the Antarctic continent between 1911 and 1954. It includes remarkable, original footage of the expedition on the tall ship Aurora in 1911, the Campbell expedition in 1947 and the Law expedition in 1954. Much of this film was made by Hurley when he accompanied Sir Douglas Mawson and an Australian party to the Antarctic in 1912 and on later expeditions. The program traces the history of the Australian expeditions between 1911 and 1914 and the establishment of Mawson Station. A rare film which reveals the true hardship and courage of these early pioneers.

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In ACMI's collection

Previously on display

22 April 2019

ACMI Viewing Booths



Phillip Garth Law


Frank Hurley


Maslyn Williams

Frank Bagnall

production company

Australian Commonwealth Film Unit



Production places
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Audience classification

Mediatheque - all ages (ACMI classified)

Subject categories

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Explorers

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Explorers - Antarctica

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Mawson station (Australian Antarctic Territory)

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Mawson, Douglas, Sir, 1882-1958


Documentary → Documentary films - Australia

History → Australia - History - 1901-1914

History → Australia - History - 20th century

History → Explorers

History → Explorers - Antarctica

History → Mawson, Douglas, Sir, 1882-1958

People → Mawson, Douglas, Sir, 1882-1958

Places → Mawson station (Australian Antarctic Territory)

Short films

Short films → Short films - Australia




Black and White


VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

16mm film; Preservation Print (Section 5)

16mm film; Limited Access Print (Section 2)

16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

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