Experience Antarctica
Discover Christchurch's close ties with the icy continent.
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Christchurch’s Antarctica

Want to have an Antarctic experience? Why not do this in Christchurch! Christchurch is home to a number of world-class Antarctic attractions that explore our connection to the frozen continent.

Airforce Museum of New Zealand – Displays the original aircraft used during the Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-1958.

Canterbury Club – Established in 1872, famous explorers and scientists (Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson) dined at the Club which is still in operation. 

Canterbury Museum – Internationally renowned Antarctic collections with items from explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition and the 1950s Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

Christchurch Airport – The first flight left Christchurch for US McMurdo Station in 1955 in support of Operation Deep Freeze. Today flights continue, supporting the US and New Zealand Antarctic programmes.

Ferrymead Heritage Park – Houses US Antarctic related aircraft and Kinsey’s cottage used by Scott’s photographer, Herbert Ponting

Indian Totem Pole – Gifted in friendship and in appreciation of the hospitality shown to Operation Deep Freeze personnel. (Sited on Orchard Road).

International Antarctic Centre – The only dedicated Antarctic attraction in the world, with Little Blue Penguins, Hagglunds rides and a snow and ice experience.

Magnetic Observatory Christchurch –In operation from 1901-1969, the observatory helped early Antarctic scientists calibrate their instruments before departing for Antarctica. 

University of Canterbury – EPS Library has an extensive collection of Antarctic archives. Gateway Antarctica research centre operates out of the university.

Want to explore more?

The Antarctic trail based in central Christchurch, travels past locations with connections to early expeditions, scientific research and community support for Antarctic exploration. Discover more about the Antarctic trail.

Photo credit: Tent on ice, sea ice and Shackleton Hut images supplied by Maddy Bellcroft © Antarctica New Zealand (2016)