Discover how the US and New Zealand have explored Antarctica together since the 1950s and learn about the Kiwis' aviation history at the Air Force Museum. In Christchurch, lies a rich and once concealed history of Antarctic exploration and military involvement. Antarctic explorers began sailing from this area in the early 1900s, and since the 1950s Christchurch has been the main staging center for Operation Deep Freeze, the US government's Antarctic project.
It's all explained in revealing detail at the International Antarctic Center, a one-of-a-kind with fascinating exhibits, audio-visual shows and even rescued baby penguins. During your self-guided tour, you'll gain a deep insight into the challenges of exploring the frozen frontier and have the opportunity to participate in some interactive activities. You can also purchase a bite or snack at the café.
You’ll visit the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum, where the country's aviation history has been preserved. Inside, you'll find dozens of historic aircrafts including the world's only Vickers Vildebeest biplane, aviation barracks dating back to World War I, rare military uniforms and medals.
Need to Know:
Note: Tour involves approximately 3-hours of moderate walking/standing over mostly flat surfaces. Other interactive activities are at the guests' discretion. The drive to Christchurch is just over 1 1/2 hours each way.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.