Postcard from Arch Hoadley to Reverend Edward Holdsworth Sugden, the Master of Queens College, University of Melbourne. The postcard has been sent from Antarctica and features an image of the SY Aurora, the ship used on the 1911-1914 expedition.

It is dated 18 Febuary 1912 and describes the journey to Antarctica, dropping Mawson's party off at Adele Land and then being cut off from land by ice for four weeks, running out of coal, finally reaching land, unloading supplies and undertaking three days of hauling the supplies. It also describes Emperor penguins and the beauty of the icebergs and the colours of the floe ice.

Charles Archibald (Arch) Hoadley was a geologist on the Western party of the 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. He was stationed at the Western Base in Queen Mary Land and participated in a number of sledging journeys including the summer westward expedition.

This is part of Museum Victoria's collection of artefacts from the 'Heroic Era' of exploration of Antarctica.

Physical Description

Postcard with black and white image of the SY Aurora on the front and extensive handwritten text on the back.


This postcard provides an interesting and evocative account of the first Australian-based expedition to Antarctica, which was led by Douglas Mawson.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Antarctica Collection, Ernest Shackleton Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Science & Measurement, Images & Image Making

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Dr Phillip G. Law AC CBE - Australian Antarctic Division, by 16/09/2002

  • Sender

    Arch Hoadley, Australia, 18 Feb 1912

  • Addressed To

    Reverend E. H. Sugden - University of Melbourne (The), Parkville, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 18 Feb 1912

  • Ship Depicted

    SY Aurora (Steam Yacht), Tasmania (?), Australia, 1911-1912
    Note: This image was probably taken whilst preparing for the voyage, before the vessel left Hobart, or possibly at the point of departure.

  • Expedition Leader

    Sir Douglas Mawson, Antarctica, 1911-1914

  • Inscriptions

    Handwritten on left side reverse: '18.2.12 Dear Master / Just a line from Antarctica We have / had a very long voyage 2 1/2 mts & at last / have got the chance of getting off. We / established Mawson & his party of / 17 at the 1st rock we saw at Adele Land / & since then 4 weeks ago we have not been able / to get a sign of land because of pack & / barrier. Our hopes went down as our coal / gave out & after we really should have turned / back home we saw a new land & here we /are unloadiing as fast as possible. Everything / has to be sledged to the foot of a barrier 120 / ft or so & hauled up to the top over a wire / we fixed up. The 8 of us on top hauling at one / end of a rope. It is hard work but very / happy. We have had 3 days of it & tomorrow / ought to see the end of the hauling. / There are numbers of Emperor penguins / about & also of Weddell Seals so we will / have plenty of fresh meat in Winter. / Words fail to describe the beauty of / of [sic] the ice. The great massive bergs / 2-300 ft high & often a couple of miles long are magnificent but it is the great / beauty of the broken floe ice which is most /inspiring. The colours and shapes are beyond / description passing from cobalt to sea green / thru the most lovely pale shades. Kind regards / to all at Col. /Arch Hoadley' Handwritten on right side reverse: 'Rev.E.H. Sugden /Queens College / Carlton / Victoria' Postmarked with penguin, around LOOSE SHIP'S LETTER /S.Y. AURORA. In centre 'POSTED IN ANTARCTICA'. Below: 'A.A.E.'

  • Classification

    Exploration, Antarctic, Sea transport

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • 2D flat

    144 mm (Length), 88 mm (Width)

  • Keywords

    Antarctic Expeditions, Antarctic Exploration, Correspondence, Postcards, Making History - Antarctic