Antarctica Beaches List and Their Description + Your Reviews Appreciated


Penguins in Antarctica on a beach

Antarctica is no more an unusual destination. Trips and expeditions to Antarctica are a common thing now (though still expensive). On this page (as a part of our All Beaches of the World project) – all known beaches of Antarctica you would want to visit and description of them. Lack of pictures is obvious as I haven’t been to Antarctica yet but maybe some of our website visitors would want to share. Hopefully.

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So far, there are 12 known beaches in Antarctica:

Blacksand Beach

This is one of the twelve beaches in Antarctica. It is said to be made up of black volcanic sand. It is situated at Cape Royds, Ross Island, which is almost 1 km (approximately 0.5 nautical miles) north of the Flagstaff Point. The name “BlackSand” was assigned to the beach by the members of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909. These members were responsible for discovering the beach which was within a walking distance of the base home somewhere close to the Flagstaff Point.

Cadwalader Beach

This beach is about 1.6 km (approximately 1 mile) long and it is situated at the end of the Beaufort Island which can be found in the Ross Archipelago. The main inhabitants of this beach are the large Adelie penguin who resides in a rookery there. This beach can easily be accessed from the sea in periods of time when there is no ice on the coast. The New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1958 to 1959) named this beach after the US Navy called Captain John Cadwalader who was responsible for encouraging and aiding the expedition in the Antarctic program. This man also provided important aid to the New Zealand parties of the Commonwealth Transantarctic Expedition (1956 to 1958).

Caughley Beach

The caughley beach can be found in the northernmost beach. It is somewhere on the ice-free coast which can be found south-west of Cape Bird, Ross Island, Antarctica. This beach was named after the biologist, Graeme Caughley who was with the group that went to Cape bird. This beach was also mapped by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1958 to 1959). Also the New College Valley, Antarctic Specially Protected Area is also situated above the beach.

Fairchild Beach

The Fairchild Beach is about 2 km (about 1 nautical mile) long and 0.6 km (approximately 0.3 nautical miles) wide. This beach is a sandy beach which comes from the northern side of the Round Hill base to the southern side of the terminus of the Compton Glacier which can be found on the eastern part of the Heard Island in the southern region of the Indian Ocean. The origin of the name “Fairchild beach” is not known but the earliest record of the use of the name is around 1857 and it was used by the American Sealers.

Gilchrist Beach

The rocky beach known as the Gilchrist Beach is about 1.9 km (almost 1 nautical mile) long. It is located on the western part of the Compton Glacier which is on the northern part of the Heard Island. The sandy Fairchild beach can also be seen from the eastern part of the Gilchrist Beach. If you want to get to the Round hill base from the Gilchrist Beach, you have to move eastwards to the Fairchild beach.
As early as 1857, the beach was referred to as the Rocky Beach or Stoney Beach by the American Sealers. This beach is said to be named after a medical officer in the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions know as Dr. Alan R. Gilchrist.

McDonald Beach

This is a very wide beach that is located on the western part of the Inclusion Hill. It is positioned at about 11 km (about 6 nautical miles) south of Cape Bird on Ross Island, Antarctica. It was named by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1958 to 1959). This beach was named after the Deputy Commander of the U.S Naval Support Force, Antarctica known as Captain Edwin A. McDonald. He was responsible for providing proper transportation facilities and other equipment to the Expedition group during the survey of the Cape Bird region.

Marinovic Beach

Located on the south shore of Explorers Cove, New Harbour on the Scott Coast of Victoria Land, Antarctica; the Marinovic Beach is a gently sloping beach. This beach was named after a graduate student of biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz known as Baldo Marinovic. He was part of the winter party at the McMurdo station. The name was first used locally when Marinovic chose the beach as a site to study echinoderms.

Ridley Beach

The Ridley Beach has about 1.9 km (about 1 nautical mile) length on each side and it can be found somewhere about 1.9 km (about 1 nautical mile) south of Cape Adare, which is located on the western part of the Adare Peninsula in northern Victoria Land. It is a cuspate space that forms a triangular beach. This beach has also been used as a campsite by the British Antarctic Expedition (1898 to 1900) led by C.E Borchgrevink. This beach was named after Borchgrevink’s mother maiden name. This beach is also where the Adelie penguin rookery can be found.

Romanes Beach

This beach can be found on the northern shore of the Worlschlag Bay which is located just south of Harrison Bluff, on the western part of Ross Island. This beach was mapped by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1958 to 1959) which got there on the USS Arneb. This beach was named by the New Zealand Antarctic Place-Names Committee after a mountaineer assistant that was with the party known as W. Romanes.

Skua Beach

This sandy beach can be found at the base of Scarlet Hill which can be found on the eastern part of Heard Island. When the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions carried out a survey of the island in 1948, they named the beach Skua Beach. The name of this beach also means “Lanches Beach” was said to have been used by American Sealers from 1860 to 1870.

Waipuke Beach

This beach is located between two other beaches; McDonald Beach and Caughley Beach. It can be found about 11 km (approximately 6 nautical miles) south of Cape Bird on Ross Island. It was given the name “Waipuke” by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1958 to 1959) because of the occasional flooding by meltwater from the cape Bird icecap. This flood has proven to be very harmful to the penguin rookeries that are located near the beach. The word “Waipuke” means “Flood” in Maori.

Waterpipe Beach

Located on the western side of the Borge Bay, Signy Island which can be found in the South Orkney Islands; this beach is a flat and shingle beach. This beach was surveyed by the DI personnel in 1933. It was later surveyed again by the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey in 1947. This beach was used for watering whaling vessels by Tonsberg Hvalfangeri from 1920 to 1930. This was done with an old pipe that runs from a pumping station in three Lakes Valley to this beach.

Are you one of those lucky travelers who had a chance to see Antarctica and more over – its beaches? Share your amazing experience, story, images and reviews in comments below. It will surely help others to get to know Antarctica better. Thank you!


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