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Scott Base celebrates 63rd birthday with special Antarctic treat

Scott Base's 63rd birthday today is being celebrated with a special cake in Antarctica, with a little help from a pastry chef at the neighbouring US research station.

A delicious sponge cake was made to celebrate Scott Base's 63rd birthday in Antarctica. Source: Supplied

Kiwi field guide Aimee Prendergast created a delectable sponge cake for the scientists and workers during today's chilly celebrations.

She was helped out by Rose McAdoo, a pastry chef working at the neighbouring McMurdo Station.

Ms Prendergast told 1 NEWS today the design was inspired by the view out of Scott Base's windows, capturing the jutting ridges of sea ice, Weddell seals and minke whales - and penguins, of course.

It also features the Trans-Antarctic Expedition hut, Sir Edmund Hillary's old hut and the first building of the original Scott Base.

And the recipe has an Antarctic history of its own.

"The sponge recipe came out of a cookbook in the Trans-Antarctic Expedition (TAE) Hut so we thought it would be fitting for the occasion," Ms Prendergast says.

Scott Base's 63rd birthday cake in Antarctica included recreations of Sir Edmund Hillary's original hut and local wildlife. Source: Supplied

While it's normally a stressful endeavour to get supplies down on the icy continent for special occasions, this time there were plenty of baking ingredients on hand - albeit some being several years old.

But there was another challenge to face.

"It's very dry here, zero humidity, so the fondant was very hard to work with as it was drying out," Ms Prendergast says.

"Other challenges are the lack of resources and having to make everything from scratch.

"Another fun aspect is outside food storage and having to wrap up to go outside to get ingredients."

The treat was served at dinner tonight at Scott Base and quickly wolfed down by the workers and scientists.

Scott Base's birthday cake in Christchurch included a dash of its iconic green. Source: Supplied

Meanwhile, back in New Zealand, Antarctica NZ had its own cake and commemorations at its Christchurch office. Theirs was a two-layer chocolate cake, covered in white and blue fondant with green fondant - the colour of Scott Base's buildings - as highlights.

Antarctica NZ CEO Sarah Williamson says while the unique challenges of the inhospitable environment haven't changed, other things have definitely improved over the past 63 years.

With better clothing and better equipment, scientists are able to head farther out into Antarctica than they have in the past - travelling up to 1000km to different sites.

And there are big changes ahead of Scott Base, with a major redevelopment in the works.

"Antarctica is of strategic importance to New Zealand. We're one of the original 12 signees to the [Antarctic] Treaty," Ms Williamson told 1 NEWS.

"And that does mean that I think we have a role to play in making sure we maintain Antarctica for peaceful purposes and science."

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A group of scientists want to find out if the current protection measures in the pristine Ross Sea are working. Source: 1 NEWS

Scott Base has run through summer and winter since 1957.