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Keeping Cool at Christchurch’s International Antarctic Centre

Hands up who’s ever wanted to visit Antarctica, but then realised that it’s the coldest place on Earth and had second thoughts? A few hands up… Well, luckily for you, you can visit the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch for an Antarctic experience that is just like the real thing. From experiencing an Antarctic storm to chilling (excuse the pun) with Little Blue Penguins, there are plenty of things to do to keep you entertained on your visit.

  • Snow & Ice Experience; while not anywhere near as cold as it gets in Antarctica, this indoor polar room is a cool -5 degrees Celsius and has its own snow, ice cave, ice slopes and a wind chill machine that will have you experiencing a -18 degrees Celsius chill. Every hour an Antarctic Storm blows through the room, simulating what it would be like if you were really in Antarctica.

Wind Chill MachineThe Wind Chill Machine in action in the polar room

  • Hagglund Ride; take 10 minutes and pretend you’re a scientist travelling across icy Antarctic terrain in a Hagglund. This ride navigates its way through an outdoor course and will get your adrenaline pumping. Hold on tight, because it does get bumpy!
  • Penguin Encounter; New Zealand’s first combined indoor/outdoor viewing area means that you can view the Little Blue Penguins throughout the day and at feeding times, when they dive for fish. The Penguins that the International Antarctic Centre homes have at one time or another been rescued and cared for from the wild. Many wouldn’t have survived in the wild on their own and have the team at the International Antarctic Centre to thank for looking after them.

Little Blue Penguins

Little Blue Penguins diving for food

  • Theatres; take some time out to watch a 4D movie (‘Happy Feet’ or ‘Ice Voyage’). Much like a 3D movie, except there’s added multi-sensory effects to really bring the movies to life. The centre is also fitted with a HD movie theatre where you can watch ‘Beyond The Frozen Sunset’, which plays continuously throughout the day.

4D movie experience

The multi-sensory 4D movie experience

You can take a sneak peak of the International Antarctic Centre here on YouTube. The International Antarctic Centre is a great activity for families or individuals while holidaying in Christchurch; it is one of those attractions that manages to successfully incorporate a lot of learning with the right level of fun, so that everyone leaves having had a worthwhile day out.