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Magnificent Flying Machines

News: 2 October 2017

Step on board Antarctic aircraft before they head south for the season!

We’re opening up the tarmac to celebrate the beginning of the summer season in Antarctica.

Last year, about three thousand people joined us for the free day – this year, we have more planes and more fun family activities.

Four aircraft will be on display at the Antarctic area, Christchurch Airport. The public can meet the crews and learn about what it’s like to live on the coldest and windiest continent on Earth.

The aircraft are:

·        US Air Force C17 (this is the big boy!)

·        RNZAF C130 Hercules

·        RNZAF B200 King Air

·        Trans-Antarctic Expedition DHC-2 Beaver (this WON’T be going to Antarctica)


Over the road at the International Antarctic Centre, there’s everything from ice sculptors to huskies to polar tents. Antarctica New Zealand is holding a virtual Antarctic tour with Virtual Reality headsets, and Christchurch City Libraries have kitted their book bus out in everything frozen.

For the public, entry to the tarmac is by a time-allocated boarding pass which can be secured in advance by booking at: 420 people will be admitted every 30 minutes to counter overcrowding.

The event will proceed if it is raining but will be cancelled if there are high winds. If it’s cancelled, all people who have booked tickets will be notified by email and the cancellation will be advertised via the Antarctic Office Facebook page.

Come and join thousands of Antarctic fans for this fun, free and not-too-freezing day out!


Event: Antarctic Air Day

Cost: Free!

When: Saturday 7 October, 10am-4pm

Where: Antarctic area, Christchurch Airport. Corner of Orchard and Wairakei Roads.

Parking: Peter Leeming Road - $5 Fundraiser for Plunket



Displays and activities:

- RNZAF in conjunction with the Air Force Museum

- Antarctica NZ (VR goggles, 'experience Antarctica', clothing)

- NZ Antarctic Heritage Trust (info on their huts and Inspiring explorers)

- Gateway Antarctica (Canterbury University) (Drones and ROVs)

- International Antarctic Centre (Hagglund rides)

- Otago Museum (Far from Frozen exhibition)

- Christchurch City Libraries (book bus)

- Korean Polar Ocean Forum 

- Antarctic Society (clothing, polar tent, food ration box, field toilet)

- Huskies

- Ice carver

- Bouncy castle

- Food vendors.

Updated on 3rd October 2017