Day 233 on the Road
The Antarctic in Christchurch
Today we are experiencing the Antarctic in the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch! If you like this video and want more travel itinerary inspiration for New Zealand then just head over to our epic YouTube Channel!
Today we’re going to experience Antarctica in New Zealand.
Today we are leaving Akaroa for the town of Hanmer Springs it’s about 3 hours drive so we’ve found an activity halfway through in Christchurch City.
I am getting prepared to go to the Antarctic.
I don’t think Laura fully understands what a museum is. We are not actually going to Antarctica. It’s actually quite warm.
As soon as we arrive at the reception of the Antarctic Centre we are being given some wristbands which is basically the entry ticket and we are sent to the huskies.
Believe it or not the husky dogs were the only means of transportation used for the earliest exploration of the South Pole. It’s absolutely incredible to know that those dogs were actually the one way people were getting around in such an atrocious climate.
The trainer here answers all our questions about the huskies and even tells us more about their specific type of fur that helps them sustain absolutely cold as temperatures. But all we really care about is how fluffy and playful they are. They all look absolutely gorgeous and love a good rub on the belly.
After playing with those adorable huskies it’s now time for us for our Hagglund ride because yes everything at the Antarctic Centre is on a timed schedule so you have different times to go do different attractions. And Hagglund is one of the first things that we’re doing.
These beasty vehicles are used by the American and Australian research operations in Antarctica and they can go over pretty much anything and that’s exactly what this experience is about. We go to this obstacle course for the Hagglund and go over makeshift crevasses and lumps of tyres and things to represent ice hills. And throughout this 20 minute experience our guide is giving us lots of information through the microphone into our headphones so everyone in the vehicle can hear.
For instance he’s telling us that the Hagglund has a towing capacity of 2 tonnes also these vehicles were developed initially for the Swedish army before they were used for research in the Antarctic. But the way this crazy obstacle course is going we can definitely see why it used in the Antarctic.
Long story short this ride feels like a roller coaster but much slower those things are absolutely unstoppable it’s quite amazing to see that those man-made machines can go over everything.
As soon as we are back in the Antarctic Centre we are gonna get the time to actually explore the museum itself. It feels like we have been in the museum for an hour but haven’t stepped into it just yet.
One of the things I like the most about the whole museum though is this self-guided tour little thing that you can program to actually talk to you about each of the different items you find around the museum. you just find the number and put it on. it’s really cool but one thing that Laura likes the most is the fake snow.
This exhibition is so cool with all the different snow and it’s more like a 6-minute show rather than just your boring museum exhibition. it’s about the different seasons in Antarctica and how you can experience 24/7 of darkness and then 24/7 of just non-stop daylight.
One of the main attractions of the Antarctic Centre is the Antarctic Storm. It’s basically a massive freezer that we have to wear special equipment to go into because it’s supposed to replicate the storms happening in the Antarctic. The storm is happening every hour so we are queuing to get ourselves inside this massive freezer.
it all starts really well with an 8 degree temperature but really quickly the night comes upon us and the temperature drops down to -18 degrees there’s also huge fans blowing freezing air onto us I really don’t know why we’re doing that it’s absolutely freezing we are cold we can’t see anything. It’s the Antarctic at night.
Making our way through the Antarctica Centre we stumble upon exhibitions telling stories of life in Antartica and also some little blue penguins. Obviously you see a lot of penguins in Antarctica but many penguins you actually see in New Zealand as you would have seen in many of our videos recently and these little blue penguins have been kept here since chicks since they have been born with physical disabilities that might harm their capability of staying alive in the wild.
Next we’re moving onto the 4D cinema which obviously we can’t show you guys any of the film but basically it is a 3D cinema experience but with some water and foam and moving seats and then finally we go onto a section which shows us how it is to go to Antarctica in a plane.
It’s already Day 366 and we decided to take it to a whole new level so New Zealand’s Biggest Gap year doesn’t just finish here we are going to Antarctica in the next 47 seconds. See you there.
Brace yourself guys Antarctica is coming in 22 seconds is coming in 0 seconds and right… Oh wait it’s just a documentary on the TV. I am going to watch it anyway while Laura is checking up a little bit on the pictures she’s been taking today.
We then move onto other parts of the exhibition which displays the difference between the south pole and the north pole there is also a lot about the native wildlife of the South Pole which is quite interesting especially the huge amount of whale species that are living in the marine sanctuary which are surrounding the Antarctica.
But trust Laura and I to find the food in any exhibition. All in all the International Antarctic Centre was an awesome pitstop and a great way to break up the drive between Akaroa and Hanmer Springs. But to be fair the drive is absolutely stunning so we not really complaining there are towering mountains and beautiful fields all around us and we are heading to Hanmer Springs which is known for it’s hot pools.
And although this experience only lasts for probably about a minute. It feels like an hour. I am just freezing my balls off which I don’t have probably because they fell off because got frozen in the Antarctic centre What am I talking about?