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Touring Macquarie Island possible through VR

Very few people will ever be able to visit the remote, cold, wet and windy place called Macquarie Island.

But with a virtual tour constructed with the use of more than 1,000 photos stitched together, it is now possible to experience life on the sub-Antarctic island.

According to a recent report, the interactive will help users see the island from various vantage points and explore all the various buildings to see where expeditioners cook, eat, relax and work.

The virtual tour is incredibly detailed. The photos that were taken are really high resolution.

Because it is a 360-tour, it provides a great opportunity to really understand the nuances of a research station.

Macquarie Island is located halfway from Tasmania to Antarctica and takes three days to reach by boat from Hobart.

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) only re-supplies the island’s research station once a year and only a handful of people spend time there over the winter months.

Accessing the tour is a brilliant opportunity for the public to get a real insight into a place that very few people get the opportunity to see.

There are several ways to view it. Users can view it on their computer, on their mobile phone, and even with virtual reality goggles.

The tour takes in some of the natural features of the island as well as a glimpse inside existing station buildings.

The virtual reality provides viewers with the opportunity to stand on the top of the Razor Back Ridge and looking over the isthmus back towards the station.

Viewers can sit inside the living space and experience where expeditioners have breakfast, lunch, dinner, surrounded by the memorabilia from past expeditions.

There are also animals to spot with many penguins visible amongst the tussock grass and seals scattered on the beach.

Moreover, the tour was created as a visual aid for architects and engineers who are designing a new research station on the island.

The new station will be located on higher ground than the old one. The existing site is one of the lower points on the island and it is subject to storm-surge events.

The weather conditions there do mean it is in poor condition.

The number of buildings on the new site will be reduced and the old station will be demolished.

A lot of investigation has been done on selecting the new site and that included looking at nesting sites, not only for the penguins in and around the station, but where the seals congregate.

As much as possible, the impacts to where these animals occur are minimised.

The new station is expected to be completed by late-2022.

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