Exploration and adventure are our deep and life-long passions.
Growing up on stories from the golden ages of Polar exploration and wilderness discovery gave us a yearning to become part of this great history of human endeavor.
Add a deep respect and sense of wonder at the natural world and the Earth’s great wild places, we have been forging a narrative of adventure that has led us inexorably to ANTARCTICA 2023.
“Men Wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”
In one of the most audacious polar expeditions ever undertaken, Gareth and Richard will attempt to cross the entire continental mass of Antarctica, unsupported, using manpower alone.
To our knowledge, if successful, this will be the longest ever unsupported ski crossing of Antarctica (2023km) and the first unsupported ski crossing of Antarctica by an Australian or a New Zealander.
Dr. Gareth Andrews
Dr Gareth Andrews is a Consultant Anaesthetist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.
Since the start of the pandemic, he has been working on the frontline of the COVID-19 response for both the NHS in Wales and in Australia.
Gareth has completed three polar expeditions and has travelled over 1500kms on foot through the polar regions.
In 2013, with Richard, he trekked 600km from Resolute Bay in the Canadian Arctic across the sea ice to the Magnetic North Pole. The month long expedition saw them battle extreme cold, polar storms, leads of open ocean and the constant presence of hungry polar bears.
As Expedition Doctor, in 2016 Gareth completed an unsupported crossing of the Greenland Ice Sheet travelling 550km in 26 days.
In 2019 Gareth and Richard completed the first unsupported traverse of Iceland via the Vatnajokull Glacier and the first descent of the Skjalfandafljot river from the source to the sea.
Dr. Richard Stephenson
Richard is a Consultant Emergency Physician in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island. He continues to play an integral role in New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richard has been exploring the polar regions for over twenty years.
He joined his first expedition to the Arctic as a teenager to climb the unknown glaciers and mountains of Eastern Greenland.
As an explorer and mountaineer, he has climbed around the world, notably in the Altai Shan of Mongolia, the Western Himalaya and the European Alps.
He joined Gareth in 2013 in their grueling Arctic Ocean expedition to reach the Magnetic North Pole.
Together in 2019 they completed a world-first unsupported traverse of Iceland.
Management and Performance Team
The Last Great First Pty Ltd management and performance team have been involved with Gareth and Richard for over ten years, since well before their Magnetic North Pole Expedition.
They have prepared their training and nutritional programs and have been involved in the countless discussions about routes, safety, gear selection, rescue training, planning and logistics.
Gareth and Richard are grateful for all their help and value their input to make this expedition a success.
Founder Wolseley Private Equity
Partner, Bain & Company the Jane Goodall Institute
Commercial Helicopter Pilot.
Expedition Dietitian, Fund raising, Community engagement, Development and implementation of all Expedition Digital media
Supportive Wife and Mum
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH
Founder and Director Joe’s Basecamp Training Facility
Specialist Fitness training for extreme and wilderness environments
20 years’ experience conditioning explorers, mountaineers, endurance athletes and adventurers
Expedition Dietitian advisor
Dietitian for the Australian Winter Olympic Team
Founder Body Fusion Nutrition and Dietetics
ERIC PHILIPS OAM
CHIEF ANTARCTIC AND POLAR
Chief Antarctic and polar advisor
President of the international polar guides association
20 years of record-breaking polar expeditions
founder of Icetrek expeditions and equipment