Vanda Station (Antarctica)

Vanda Station was an Antarctic research base in the western highlands (Victoria Land) of the Ross Dependency, specifically on the shore of Lake Vanda, at the mouth of Onyx River, in the Wright Valley.

'Gnat and radio' at Vanda Station, 1969-1970
‘Gnat and radio’ at Vanda Station, 1969-1970. Photo: Antarctica NZ

The four original station buildings were constructed in the summers of 1967–1968 and 1968–1969, just prior to the first winter-over by a five-man team from January to October 1969.

Radio equipment at Vanda Station 1969-1970
Radio equipment at Vanda Station 1969-1970. Photo: Antarctica NZ

Subsequent wintering parties occupied the station in 1970 and 1974. During summer seasons, Vanda station was fully staffed until 1991.

Vanda Station in 1984
Vanda Station in 1984. Photo: Antarctica NZ
Radio room at Vanda Station during the 1988-1989 season
Radio room at Vanda Station during the 1988-1989 season. Photo: Antarctica NZ

Scientific programs principally included meteorology, hydrology, seismology, earth currents, and magnetics. The station was administered by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), and was supported logistically by the permanent New Zealand research base of Scott Base on Ross Island.

In 1995, environment concerns resulted in the base being closed. Various activities associated with the station’s occupation, including excavations, the erection of buildings, disturbances caused by vehicle movements, the storage of consumables, waste disposal, and accidental spills, led to the effort to remove the station.

More information about Vanda Station