Hartley Travers Ferrar was the geologist on Scott's first expedition to the Antarctic (the ‘Discovery’ Expedition) in 1901–1904. Ferrar undertook the first geological surveys in the Transantarctic Mountains, which he mapped to 83°S, and made some discoveries of major scientific importance, such as fossil leaves, later identified as Glossopteris indica. He then worked in Egypt, Palestine and New Zealand, and was Acting Director of the New Zealand Geological Survey when he died suddenly in 1932. Little has been acknowledged about Ferrar's other contributions to geology, which were vast, and included pioneering work on irrigation and hydrogeology in Egypt, as well as a series of geological mapping campaigns in New Zealand. The latter extended to systematic soil surveys in New Zealand, in particular in Central Otago, where soil types and their properties were characterized in the field and laboratory. This paper outlines some of Ferrar's key contributions to New Zealand geoscience, as well as some of his notable overseas achievements.