Things to do  |  20 Oct 2020

Ōtautahi Christchurch’s links to the icy continent are celebrated in a new interactive audio tour through the city centre.

The Antarctic Gateway City Trail has been put together by ChristchurchNZ and The Christchurch Antarctic Office and starts on Colombo Street, near Victoria Square.

The trail takes listeners on a comprehensive tour of the city and includes 17 geo-location audio clips detailing a rich Antarctic history and the stories of scientists, artists and experts who have visited the icy continent.

The trail also provides exclusive insight into the two new pieces of street art, including the Scott Base and penguins mural in Cathedral Square, which is one of the city’s largest murals. It was created by Oi You! for ChristchurchNZ.

To access the tour, download the Listen Up Ōtautahi app in the App Store or Google Play, or click here to access the experience via your browser.

David Kennedy, head of The Christchurch Antarctic Office, says the audio tour enables people to reconnect with the city’s historic and contemporary links to the ice.

“Otautahi Christchurch has always been a place of exploration and stories, with perhaps the richest Antarctic history on the planet,’’ Mr Kennedy says.

“The Antarctic Gateway City Trail enables people to experience this history in depth, at the places it happened, and at their own pace.’’

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.

*The photo above shows part of the penguins mural in Cathedral Square. Photo: Oi You.