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  Heard Island and McDonald Islands   
  Introduction Back To Top

These uninhabited, barren, sub-Antarctic islands were transferred from the UK to Australia in 1947. Populated by large numbers of seal and bird species, the islands have been designated a nature preserve.

  Geography Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km


Map references:
Antarctic Region

Geographic coordinates:
53 06 S, 72 31 E

Natural resources:

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mawson Peak, on Big Ben 2,745 m

Heard Island - 80% ice-covered, bleak and mountainous, dominated by a large massif (Big Ben) and an active volcano (Mawson Peak); McDonald Islands - small and rocky

Geography - note:
Mawson Peak on Heard Island is the highest Australian mountain (at 2,745 meters, it is taller than Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia proper), and one of only two active volcanoes located in Australian territory, the other being McDonald Island; in 1992, McDonald Island broke its dormancy and began erupting; it has erupted several times since, the most recent being in 2005

total: 412 sq km
land: 412 sq km
water: 0 sq km

islands in the Indian Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica

101.9 km

Area - comparative:
slightly more than two times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:
0 sq km

Environment - current issues:

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
Mawson Peak, an active volcano, is on Heard Island

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)

  People Back To Top


  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of Australia)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of Australia)

Dependency status:
territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Legal system:
the laws of Australia, where applicable, apply

Flag description:
the flag of Australia is used

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands
conventional short form: Heard Island and McDonald Islands
abbreviation: HIMI

  Economy Back To Top

Economy - overview:
The islands have no indigenous economic activity, but the Australian Government allows limited fishing in the surrounding waters.

  Communications Back To Top

Internet country code:

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
none; offshore anchorage only

  Military Back To Top

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of Australia; Australia conducts fisheries patrols

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:

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