South Pole expeditioners get festive

They might be at the opposite end of the globe to Santa's workshop, but those spending Christmas at the South Pole will have plenty of festive cheer to keep them warm in frosty conditions.

Macquarie Island station leader Alison Dean told AAP the crew had "a fantastic chef" with 16 assistant chefs working through the weekend and late on Christmas Eve to prepare a huge festive buffet.

With temperatures hovering just below zero and peaking at 9degC, the team of expeditioners will start Christmas Day with a champagne brunch, followed by a visit from Santa and his elves delivering presents, before sitting down to a dinner with no candles required, as the sun won't be setting.

Between 14 and 40 expeditioners are located at Macquarie Island, located halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, at any time.

The Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition station on the island is the longest continuously operating Australian station in the subantarctic or Antarctica, since its establishment in 1948.

But Christmas in the southern reaches is far from traditional.

The Australian Antarctic Division said its expeditioners needed eye masks to sleep during the summer solstice, which "bathed Antarctica in 24 hours of sunlight".

At Casey, Davis and Mawson research stations the sun doesn't set between December and January.

"We've been able to enjoy clear skies and the changing light and reflections on the sea ice and passing icebergs for 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Davis Station leader Simon Goninon said in a statement.

"The summer solstice certainly provides an extended director's cut of this amazing, constantly changing light show."

At the Davis station in November, biologists undertook a Weddell seal survey, counting 178 seals, including 66 pups.

The icebreaker ship Aurora Australis is currently moored in Newcomb Bay near the Casey research station.

The station is currently undergoing it annual resupply processes, with more than 600 tonnes of supplies being moved from the ship to the station, including food, water, vehicles, spare parts, construction materials, personal effects and fuel.

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