McMurdo Station Antarctica is the largest year round station on the continent. It sits on Ross Island which is in the Ross sea, on the opposite side of the continent from the penninsula. McMurdo is United States owned and operated station under the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, and is considered the "Gateway to Antarctica" as it is home to three air field, and an Ice Pier for large ocean going vessels. As the United States also operated the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, the airfield in McMurdo are vital as US Air National Guard C-130s operate from the runways to keep the South Pole supplied.
In the summer McMurdo has roughly 1200 residents, which can go as low as 118 in the winter. There are no permanant residents, and workers are required to take 60 days of R&R before they return if they are working a 14 month rotation. McMurdo is a strictly science based research station that operated within the guidelines of the Antarctic Treaty. Most of those living "on the ice" are there working in various capacties to support the overall sceience mission
McMurdo, or Mactown, is a full service town complete with a full time fire department, three bars, a bowling alley, gyms, a chapel, and numerous hiking trails. For the most part the only way to travel to McMurdo is through having employment there, or being a researcher.
Area wildlife in the summer includes: Adele and Emperor Penguins, Weddel Seals and Skua.