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There are few places today that are truly wild. Macquarie Island - a small, wind-blasted rocky outcrop between Tasmania and Antarctica - is still one such place. In exquisite pictures and words, A Hostile Beauty tells the story of this extraordinary Australian outpost teeming with life. Alistair Dermer's stunning photography takes us up close and personal with the inhabitants: gentle gentoo penguins, engorged elephant-seal bulls and scavenging skuas, and deep into a landscape that is as beautiful and life-giving as it is hostile and pitiless. Let these superb images, from the fury of the squalling Southern Ocean to the warm, trusting eyes of a seal pup, transport you to one of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth.
Alistair Dermer spent six months on Macquarie Island over the summer of 2001 02, working as a research assistant and living in a small cabin on the east coast, each day capturing the rugged beauty of the island with his two analogue cameras. He works in natural-resource management and is devoted to our natural heritage. He has worked with the Australian Antarctic Division, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Birds Australia and most recently with Bush Heritage Australia. Danielle Wood lectures in writing at the University of Tasmania and is author of the award-winning fiction books The Alphabet of Light and Dark and Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales for Girls. She visited Macquarie Island in 1998 while working as a media officer for the Parks and Wildlife Service and the island's beauty and wildness have been an ongoing inspiration for her writing.