Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) are two islands located in the Southern Ocean, about 4,000 km southwest of mainland Australia. They are an Australian external territory and are the only Australian territory located in the Antarctic region. The islands are remote, uninhabited, and have a harsh climate, with temperatures averaging around -1 to -2 °C. They are covered in glaciers and snow and are home to unique and diverse flora and fauna, including several species of penguins and seals. They are also home to the Big Ben volcano, which is one of the most active in the Antarctic region.
The islands have no permanent human population, but they are visited by scientists and researchers who study the geology, biology and meteorology of the islands. The islands are also used as a base for scientific research and as a supply point for maritime operations in the Antarctic region.
The islands have been designated as a National Nature Reserve and as a World Heritage Site due to their unique natural and cultural values. Access to the islands is highly restricted due to their remoteness and the harsh conditions, and visitors are only allowed with special permission.
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