Australia to add Antarctica winter access

Australia is building Antarctica's first winter-accessible paved runway.

Winter access is rare when temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees at Davis station because countries only have access to summer-only ice runways, including Australia's Wilkins Aerodrome.

Preliminary site investigations will cost $10 million while the full cost is still to be determined, the federal government revealed on Friday.

It's hoped the runway, which will provide a permanent link between Hobart and Antarctica, will encourage Antarctic nations to base operations in Tasmania.