This is as close as most of us will get to the real South Pole. This interactive experience takes you on a journey of ... More
International Antarctic Centre
This is as close as most of us will get to the real South Pole. This interactive experience takes you on a journey of discovery, into the harshness of early Antarctic explorations, and the beauty of Antarctica's scenery and wildlife. Take a ride in a snowmobile and experience real wind chill and snow. View a working Antarctic campus to see just what it takes to plan and organize a journey to this hostile, but beautiful continent. International Antarctic Centre makes education fun. Be sure to set aside up to three hours to fully explore the centre. Check website for further details.
From the minute you walk into the place, when you have to decide what you want to do before you pay and someone has to explain it all to you,this place is totally confusing. After 3/4 of an hour of wandering round we came out of the entrance as we couldn't find the exit, found a map and saw that we had missed the film show. When we went back in to find it the theatre was not clearly marked and the film was just as much of a mish-mash as the rest of the place, just a series of pictures. I felt the Centre was like wondering through a maze with a few penguins thrown into the mix so that you saw somthing that moved. Didn't do the Hagglund ride as it seemed, from the list of aches, pains and heart problems on the "Don't go on this ride if " list, that it was going to be quite an unpleasant experience. They could learn a lot from the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim which is laid out beautifully and is a pleasure to walk around, its informative without all the information being squeezed into one room like it is in the Antarctic Centre, which just puts you off reading anything. Not rushing back.
This is a nice facility but kind of boring. Only one penguin was out and about the rest were hiding in their nests. It just didn't seem like there was much to see given how costly the enterance fee. I wouldn't recommend this unless you have money to burn or are extremely interested in the Antartic.
We had a grand time in the antarctic centre. It was fun to experiance not only the history but also to get a taste for what the current inhabitants live like when they are collecting data. It is also one of the only places on the planet where so many flags of nations fly at the same time.
We enjoyed the room where you get to put on a parka and feel an antarctic storm simulated, quite a blast!
The International antartic center is a must see in New Zealand. From the Storm Room to the Haaglund ride, it was illuminating, thrilling and knowledge worthy experience. I did not know Antartica was a desert!!
I was taken on a personal tour of the Center by it's founder and former director, the late Keith Clegg and his lovely wife Virginia. He was an Antarctic explorer extraordinaire. His narration made the exhibits come alive. The exhibits are very imaginatively arranged and many are interactive. I would rate my trip to this museum as one of the "Seven Wonders of My Life." I especially enjoyed riding in a vehicle like they use in Antarctica and entering the sub-zero room and sliding down an icy slope. I purchased some penguin tapes and took many photos so I can continue to enjoy the memories of my experience there.
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