• Photo credit: Dave Allen for NIWA
  • Photo taken from: https://georgeclooneyslepthere.com/tag/balleny-islands/
  • Photo credit: Dave Allen for NIWA

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Balleny Islands

66°55'0" S 163°45'0" N

The Balleny Islands lie over 2,000 kilometres south of New Zealand, and are a series of islands located slightly towards the north-west of the mouth of the Ross Sea, and only a couple of hundred kilometres off the coast of Antarctica.

Claimed by New Zealand as part of the Ross Dependency, the area is governed though the Antarctic Treaty System.

Balleny Islands include three main islands: Young, Buckle and Sturge, and together with several smaller islets and rocks, extend for about 160 km (99 mi) in a northwest-southeast direction. The islands are heavily glaciated and of volcanic origin, and are too far south for any plant life or grass to exist.

The English whaling captains John Balleny and Thomas Freeman first sighted the group in 1839, and Freeman was the first person to land on any of the islands on February 9, and was also the first landing south of the Antarctic Circle.

The islands’ area totals 400 km2 (154 sq mi) and the highest point reaches 1,705 m (5,594 ft) or 1,524 m (5,000 ft) (the unclimbed Brown Peak on Sturge Island).

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