Aurora Australis in sea ice
The summer Australian Antarctic Division program will have to be modified because its icebreaker the Aurora Australis has been delayed in heavy ice. The ship was due to return to Hobart more than a week ago after a resupply mission, but it is still navigating through heavy ice about 180 nautical miles off the Davis research station.

Antarctic Division director Tony Fleming says there is no risk of the crew's food or water running low. He says some open water was spotted from the air a couple of days ago but there is heavy ice between the ship and the break in the ice.

Dr Fleming says one ship voyage will have to be dropped because of the delay.

"What we've done is collapse the second and third voyage into one voyage, that will mean we'll drop into Macquarie Island as we head out to the resupply at Casey research station so there are a small number of activities that will be affected," he said.

It is not known when conditions will improve.