Celebrating 50 Years of Antarctic Surveyors

  • 09 October 2018

Celebrating 50 Years of Antarctic Surveyors

In celebration of 50 years of surveying and mapping endeavours in the Antarctic, two events are planned by NZ Antarctic Society and Survey and Spatial New Zealand.

The first event is the Holmes Miller Memorial Lecture 2018 - Mapping with dogs and theodolite in the Transantarctic Mountains in the early 1960s. There is no charge for this lecture given by Peter Otway on 50 years of Antarctic surveying and mapping in the 1960s being held 5.30pm, Thursday 15 November at Wellington's Victoria University lecture theatre Old Wooden Building Campus.

The second event is an Antarctic Surveyors Celebration Dinner following the lecture hosted by NZ Antarctic Society and S+SNZ. This is being held at 7pm at The Wellington Club, 88 The Terrace, Wellington.

Tickets for this dinner at $95+gst per head will be available to be can be purchased through the S+SNZ Tickets and Events web page.


1957 marked the beginning of not only TAE and IGY, but also the exploration of the Transantarctic Mountains by dog sledge. Peter Otway's experience, following Bob Miller's example, was typical of the surveyor's role - more attached to the dogs than his theodolite, spending two seasons in 4-man geological and survey parties and wintering over at Scott Base looking after 60 dogs and their pups. His first season, south of the Byrd Glacier, was followed by a challenging 3-months on the Polar Plateau east of the Beardmore Glacier, resulting in the first reliable map of the region made famous by Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen.

As well as the expeditions mentioned above there was a third party in 1957 which was an NZ Government Geologic and Surveying Antarctic Expedition which continued annually becoming the NZ Antarctic Research Programme (NZARP), Many surveyors were continually involved with this programme over the years and we hope many will be able to attend this celebration dinner.