Take in some New Zealand history at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand

New Zealand has fast become an adventure tourism destination, although there’s a lot more to be seen and done than a bungy jump or sky dive!

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is found in the suburb of Wigram in Christchurch, and according to Trip Advisor is ranked #9 of 180 things to do in Christchurch.

Home to the national collection of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), the Air Force Museum of New Zealand works to preserve the history of New Zealand’s military aviation. The collection includes aviation objects from prior to and during World Wars One and Two (including the RNZAF’s campaign in the Pacific), the post-war period, and the present day. The Museum is open 10am – 5pm every day of the year (except for Christmas day) for tourists and locals to come and view the national collection of the RNZAF.

 Hawker Siddeley Andover

The Hawker Siddeley ANDOVER C MK1 on display

2015 is an important year for not only the Museum, but all across New Zealand, as it forms part of the centenary of the First World War. The war started in 1914, when New Zealand’s population was 1 million, and by 1918; 18,500 New Zealanders had lost their lives in the war. Along with other organisations in the Canterbury region, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand is participating in the Canterbury 100 project to help commemorate and remember those lives lost.

As part of the Canterbury 100 project, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand is holding the ‘Canterbury Stories: Remembering the First World War’ exhibition, which aims to provide personalised insight into the war from those who experienced it. The exhibition opened in September 2014 and will continue to grow throughout the Centenary period as more stories and artefacts are added.

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is full of things to see, read and learn, and even has a flight simulator for visitors to test their flight skills on. You could easily spend a good few hours here, so we recommend planning your day accordingly. The Museum has 21 aircraft on display (plus another 11 in storage, and two restoration/conservation projects which you can see on the ‘Behind the scenes tour’), aircraft components such as tyres, wings and radios, aircraft engines, other large objects like a barrack
block, and smaller items including uniforms, paintings and medals.

 Airspeed Oxford restoration

The Airspeed Oxford restoration project

The exhibitions do change from time to time so be sure to check out what’s on before you visit.