18 March 2014
One of Christchurch’s iconic visitor attractions, the International Antarctic Centre, has undergone a $200,000 exhibit and theming upgrade since December, which is delighting visitors.
This is the first major investment in the attraction since the 4D theatre was opened in 2010 and the first time some of these particular areas have been upgraded since they were opened many years ago. It was definitely time for an update, says Nicki Dawson, International Antarctic Centre Manager.
The attraction is now sporting a brand new ice themed entrance and a new modern looking Scott Base area where visitors dress in cold weather gear before heading out on to ‘the ice’ of Antarctica and into the Antarctic storm.
There’s a new Polar Plunge interactive ice water challenge where visitors challenge each other to see how long they can hold their hand in the icy Antarctic water (current unconfirmed record is 35 minutes!). A new Historic Hut conservation exhibit inside a purpose built ‘hut’ has opened and by the end of April a new Flying to Antarctica exhibit should be operational, built into a purpose built ‘C17 aircraft’ fuselage. Other areas and exhibits have also been refreshed with additional theming and imagery added and ambient temperature changes to improve the visitor experience and add interest and insight into the Antarctic stories.
The feedback from visitors to the attraction, industry and staff has been overwhelmingly positive since the changes took place says Dawson.
This is just the first stage of a bigger plan to continue to develop the Antarctic Centre to ensure it remains The World’s Best Antarctic Attraction and retains its position as an icon amongst Christchurch’s visitor activities. We’re very conscious of remaining relevant, current and on trend with the increasing expectations visitors have of attractions and experiences, says Dawson. Look out for a new 4D movie later in 2014 and the addition of more interactive and educational experiences.