Paralympian Liam Malone heads to Antarctica

Kiwi Paralympian Liam Malone has jetted off to the coldest place on Earth, set to spend several days in Antarctica.

The 23-year-old headed down to help spread the message of how important the continent is to New Zealand, as well as globally, and told Newshub it would be a dream come true.

"You'd be crazy for any human being to turn down a trip to go to Antarctica," he said.

"The whole thing's fascinating. How could you not be excited?

"Antarctica, for me, is like the International Space Station. It's a piece of land where, while there are territorial claims, it's set up as a haven of international peace and dedication to science research."

The Kiwi 'Blade Runner' set off from Christchurch on Monday, flying on the Royal New Zealand Air Force's C-130H Hercules jet along with cook Annabel Langbein, also an invited guest to Scott Base.

While most of those staying at New Zealand's base on the ice are either scientists or working, the sprinter said being invited was an opportunity to diversify who can experience the isolated landscape.

"It's not just [appealing to] the science community, but also the sporting community, and different demographics and age groups. It's the story that really matters and being able to share that story."

With temperatures often dropping to below -30degC at Scott Base this summer, the thought of the frigid environment can be alarming - but Malone isn't concerned.

"I'm not worried at all, I'm not going to lose my limbs to frostbite," he joked.

"I'll be one of the only ones in shorts while I'm there."

But the gold-medal Paralympian is set to take a break from training while he's there, saying he's not sure if his running blades would work in the extreme weather.

"Although 'Blades on Ice' is a great title! It's like an ice bath for three days," he said.

Malone said part of the appeal was the urge to explore "ingrained in the New Zealand spirit".

"Part of growing up as a Kiwi, I think you have that sense of adventure ingrained into you and when you think about how much of the world has already been explored, Antarctica is one of the places that's still pretty unexplored.

"I'm really excited to go down. I've had a family member go down years ago to do research and since then, I've been really excited to go."