Scott Base, New Zealand's only Antarctic research station, perches on a low volcanic headland called Pram Point at the southern end of Ross Island. It is 3800km south of Christchurch and 1350km from the South Pole. Mt Erebus, an active volcano, sits north-east and to the west, across McMurdo Sound, is the Royal Society Range. Here, lies the boundary between the Ross Ice Shelf and the sea ice that forms every winter. From October to February, Scott Base is a bustling hub of scientists, staff and visitors. Up to 86 people can be accommodated at any one time; during the summer season, more than 300 people stay on base.