'Mad tradition': Aussie expeditioners brave freezing dip

SOME like it cold. Really, really cold!

The Australian Antarctic Division expeditioners held true to an age-old "mad tradition" when they celebrated the winter solstice with a blood-chilling dip through the ice and into the sea off the icy continent.

In video of the ritual, expeditioners take turns to strip down and take the plunge in a cavity hewn from the ice by chainsaws.

Some of the brave swimmers decided to dress-up for the occasion, some wore only boardies, all lasted just a few seconds in the frigid water - which reached -2 degrees Celsius - before making a quick escape.

However, there was little escape on dry land with the air temperature dropping to -22 degrees Celsius.

Casey Station leader Rebecca Casey said the solstice had been celebrated since the time of the earliest explorers, including Sir Douglas Mawson.