If someone told you that Antarctica had nightlife you’d either think they we’re talking about dancing with a penguin, or just plain lying.
Well the fact is, surprising as it sounds, Antarctica does have nightlife and I’m going to tell you all about it so that next time you’re setting off on your holidays to the extreme south of the planet, you’ll know where to head for a good night out.
People Actually Live There?
The first question to answer is whether anyone actually lives on the continent of Antarctica. Well strictly speaking there isn’t a permanent population, but there are always people there thanks to the different permanently manned research stations that were set up by various countries. There’s a changing population with researchers coming for a year at a time often, or there will be people who come just for summer or just for winter. Because of this the population varies between about 1,000 in the winter and about 5,000 in the summer.
So what do all these people do in their spare time? Obviously, they kick back and relax! Each of the different stations has some form of entertainment or nightlife, and what’s on offer varies to suit the cultures of the people visiting.
Visitors to Antarctica aren’t just researchers – would you believe there’s actually a University of Antarctica so you’ll come across a relatively small number of students, and of course there are always tourists visiting, either as part of an organised tour or independently.
So What Nightlife is There?
McMurdo Station seems to be the main place to visit for nightlife. There’s not one, not two, but three nightclubs here and that’s more than some major cities of the world have! The Erebus Club, the Coffee Shop, and Gallagher’s Pub are the three here, and admittedly they’re probably not what you’d think of as nightclubs per se, but they are hip and happening places where you can chill out and listen to music, drink beer from the local brewery, and get to know some of the “locals”.
There’s also the Scott Base Pub if you like things smaller and more intimate, but it is small and hence difficult to get in unless you’re a Kiwi. Scott Base is the New Zealand research facility.
You don’t have to go to a specific nightlife venue to have a good night out in Antarctica though. It’s a unique place filled with people who really want to be here hence there’s a friendly atmosphere and a real camaraderie among the people staying or visiting, so whatever you do it’s bound to be fun and interesting!
by Claire Bolgil, Travel Writer Extraordinaire