Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Antarctic Stories Come to Life
Scientists, artists, experts and locals – all share their Antarctic stories in a new interactive experience in Ōtautahi Christchurch.
The Antarctic Gateway City Trail is a new audio tour in the central city, put together by ChristchurchNZ and The Christchurch Antarctic Office.
Starting on Colombo St near Victoria Square, the trail takes listeners on a comprehensive tour of the city, including 17 geo-location audio clips detailing a rich Antarctic history.
The tour also has exclusive insight into two new pieces of street art, including the Scott Base and penguins mural in Cathedral Square, one of the city’s largest murals, delivered on behalf of ChristchurchNZ by Oi YOU!
Ōtautahi Christchurch is one of only five International Antarctic Gateway cities, and was the starting point for some of the most iconic adventures of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
It continues to be a hub of Antarctic activity with four international Antarctic programmes using Ōtautahi Christchurch as a year-round base for operations, taking advantage of both Christchurch Airport and Lyttelton Port for transport. A further four nations use the city as a southern gateway every year.
Hundreds of Canterbury businesses support and supply the Antarctic sector. The Christchurch Antarctic Office recently launched the Christchurch Antarctic Network, a platform for these businesses to tell their stories of product and service delivery to the ice, another indicator of the depth of Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Antarctic involvement.
David Kennedy, head of the Christchurch Antarctic Office, said the audio tour was a jewel in the city’s exploration crown, enabling people to reconnect with the city’s historic and contemporary links to the ice.
Head of the Christchurch Antarctic Office - David Kennedy
Ōtautahi Christchurch has always been a place of exploration and stories, with perhaps the richest Antarctic history on the planet,”
“Ōtautahi Christchurch has always been a place of exploration and stories, with perhaps the richest Antarctic history on the planet,” Kennedy said.
“The Antarctic Gateway City Trail enables people to experience this history in depth, at the places it happened, and at their own pace.”
Figures from 2017 show that National Antarctic Programmes that utilise the New Zealand and Christchurch Gateway contribute nearly $150m to the economy, of which $105m is in Canterbury. The Antarctic sector as a whole contributes more than $250 million to the Canterbury economy, and more than $500m to the national economy.
For more on what The Christchurch Antarctic Office has been up to, check out their website.