Before I delve into our travels in Australia, I do want to mention Christchurch – a cool city that is still building itself up after the devastating earthquake 4 years ago. Like the other cities in NZ, it’s super chill and has a good vibe. It was our last stop before we went onto Australia. We stayed at a great hotel – The Hotel Montreal -which was a nice place to relax near Hagley Park and the Botanical Garden. Great trails to run on in the morning. It had a kitchen, which is always a plus when traveling with kids.
We didn’t do too much in Christchurch- it was more of a relaxing time, but we did go to this great museum called the International Antarctic Centre. Definitely worth going if you ever get to NZ. It might be the closet you get to being in Antarctica – although now that I have been to the museum, I have to say that Antarctica might be on my bucket list. Anyhow, I digress.
The cool thing about this museum is how interactive it is. You get to take a ride on a Hagglund, which is the vehicle used by scientists in Antarctica to cover the rough terrain. At the museum they take you on a ride over mounds and hills – one two stories high and into a deep lake so you can experience a little bit of what it might be like to be in Antarctica.
The other great experience is the Antarctic Storm. Heavy coats with hoods are provided as well as covers to put on your shoes before you walk into a room that was roughly 14 degrees Farenheit to begin with. Once the storm starts and the winds begin to blow, the temperature drops well below zero and you are experiencing what it would be like to live through a storm on Antarctica. There was even an igloo you could run into to get out of the storm.
The museum was well done with movies showing you what a beautiful continent it is and how much work scientists are doing down there. We even got to see the blue penguins of New Zealand, which the girls loved.
Well worth the time and will definitely make you think about making the trek down to Antarctica. Of course to get there I have to go to New Zealand again 🙂