Antarctic Centre

March 27

One of the must-do attractions in Christchurch is the International Antarctic Centre featuring informative displays about the history and present status of international exploration and research there. As well as the serious side, penguins (rescued birds), a special cold room to emulate blizzard conditions (parkas, boots and mitts are provided), and the opportunity to ride a Haggland (snow-cat) are available. Across the road, the US has a large facility; many countries are participating in Antarctic research and Christchurch is an important gateway to the South Pole.

Little blue penguins reside here; these are injured birds who can’t be rehabilitated back to the wild, just like the birds we’d seen in Napier. Dogs are a nuisance to penguins, kiwis and other flightless birds. As a result, NZ’s Department of Conservation have banned dogs from national parks.

A pose from the movie Madagascar?

Little blues are awkward when walking on land, agile swimmers at feeding time

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