The wild and desolate expanses of Antarctica have been the setting for many famous exploits and misadventures: a place where every decision has life-or-death consequences. Legendary explorers such as Shackleton, Mawson and Scott continue to inspire to this day, and their faithful ships, the Endurance, Aurora and Terra Nova are vivid characters in their fateful voyages of discovery. The first and only Australian-built Antarctic flagship, Aurora Australis, and her crews have likewise secured a place in Antarctic history. This is the 30-year story of Aurora Australis and of her diverse charges - crew, technicians, scientists, explorers, writers and artists. It's the tale of a problem-plagued construction, two devastating fires, a crippling besetment in ice and a blizzard-induced grounding in Antarctica. It tells of brave rescue missions of other ships and their grateful crews, and of the heroic administering of medical help while battling life-threatening temperatures and hurricane-force winds. This is a tale of engineering brilliance, team tenacity and human resilience. It brings polar research to life and unveils stunning scientific discoveries. It transforms the Aurora Australis into a compelling character in Australia's chapter of Antarctic history and makes heroes of the men and women who have guided her through the most inhospitable seascapes on earth.