January 8, 2024 Museums (Day 103)

We went out to the beach to watch the sunrise at 6am this morning!

Looks like it’s going to be another beautiful day!

After breakfast we packed a lunch and drove to the Park and Ride 14km (about 8.5 miles) away and caught the bus into Christchurch to the central bus interchange. After milling around a bit trying to figure out where we wanted to go a guide stepped in and gave us directions! We decided to go different directions to visit different museums! I headed north and west to the International Antarctic Centre near the airport. Robert decided to go west and a little south to the NZ Air Force Museum. We planned to meet back at the central bus interchange in 3 hours. We both had great experiences!

The International Antarctic Centre is full of information about ‘the south pole’. Christchurch is the gateway to the Antarctic via plane or boat. It’s also the base for several international research organizations, including the United States Antarctic Program-National Science Foundation, which is literally across the street!

A lot of history, discovery, exploitation, and research information is presented. Past history includes the whaling station that closed in 1964. The research field tents are still used today!

Of course I had to visit the penguin exhibit. They have about a dozen non-releasable little blue penguins in the enclosure.

Meanwhile, Robert was at the Air Force Museum;

Near the entrance was this display.

This plane carried Queen Elizabeth II around NZ on her Royal Tour in 1953-54.

“The Bell 47G-3B-1 Sioux. The Sioux was the first helicopter to enter service with the RNZAF (Royal NZ Air Force), and featured in the American television series MASH – set during the Korean War where they were used for medical evacuation.”

We both got back to the meeting point at the scheduled time and took the bus back to the car and drove back to the B&B for a great grilled fish dinner!

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