Breathtaking dawn finally breaks in Antarctica

(Anthony Powell / supplied)
(Anthony Powell / supplied)

After a long, chilly winter, the Kiwis down at Scott Base in Antarctica have finally seen their first sunrise in four months.

While the sun made its first appearance on Friday for around an hour, stormy weather blocked the view for those who spent winter at Scott Base.

Monday was the first day the weather cleared enough for the sun to be visible.

Filmmaker Anthony Powell was one of the 11 people who bunkered down at Scott Base for the winter.

"When the sun finally does come back it suddenly strikes you just how amazing it is," he says.  "You just can't help but stare at it and just want it to fill you up from the inside.

"It's a pretty amazing experience, because you realise that it's really this life-giving thing, that summer's on its way back finally. So it's a pretty exciting time."

Mr Powell has spent more than 10 winters down in Antarctica and says it presents unique challenges as a filmmaker, sometimes freezing his eyelashes to camera viewfinders.

While initially he was nervous to see the sun set, knowing it was going to be four months before he could see it again, he says he's now got used to it.

"And I really look forward to the sun going, because I know that's when all the really cool stuff, like the auroras and just the amazing night stars really start to pop."

The brief sunrise marks the beginning of the end of the long, cold winter. Soon the summer research season will begin and the activity will really ramp up.

But summer presents an entirely different challenge - instead of the months of darkness, there's months with 24 hours of sunlight.

"Summer is kind of weird, you just got that bright sunlight all the time which can really throw your body clock off quite easily, whereas winter it's a lot easier to keep a routine," Mr Powell says.

Until the summer truly kicks off, those at Scott Base will be enjoying the short glimpses of sun that they get.

"A lot of people sit around and just stare it for half an hour, and you know burn spots on their retinas," Mr Powell says.