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Macquarie Island

This small bit of land, some 1,500 km south-east of the southern tip of Tasmania is a densely populated place - almost one million penguin pairs call Macquarie Island home! Macquarie Island is a sub-antarctic island, it lies only 1,300 km north of Antarctica. The island is 128 km2 large, and it is a Tasmanian State Reserve, managed by the state’s Parks and Wildlife Service. Not only penguins call the island home, elephant or fur seals, petrels, various types of albatrosses and other sea birds live here, too. The island is almost entirely covered by tussock grass and other primitive plants, but there are absolutely no trees. Australia operates a research station on the island and over summer, a scientific community of about 30 people live and work there. Research carried includes biology, botany, physics, meteorology and medical subjects. Macquarie was discovered in 1810 and the island was consequently named after the then governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. In 1997, the island was listed as a World Heritage Site.