Camera’s first outing: Penguin Extravaganza!

Today as part of my birthday treats we visited the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, it was awesome! I am so intrigued by the Arctic and Antarctic, so I was totally in my element. There was oodles of information about all the science and research, expeditions and wildlife, along with Hagglund rides and a Penguin rehab centre 😀

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One of my favourite aspects of the centre was the fact that it is located directly opposite to the US Antarctic Program and all flights to Antarctica leave from Christchurch Airport which is just over the road, how authentic 😛

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To be honest I didn’t know what a Hagglund was until yesterday, and for those of you who also don’t know, they are one of the main forms of transport in Antarctica. The ride takes you through a mini assault course of hills with crevasses, sharp turns  and even a 3m deep pond! All of which the hagglund coped with magnificently, even if the passengers get thrown around a bit!

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Hagglunds galore

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Top of the big hill…
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And in the water!

They have ice caves, a room that replicates the weather conditions (with real snow and a storm that blows through every half hour! I can now tell you a wind chill factor of -18  is bloody cold!!!) and set ups of antarctic camps with skidoos that you can climb about on…

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The penguins at the centre are all wild, rescued penguins that would not have survived if they had not been found. They come with a host of problems, including shark related injuries and brain damage from boat strikes. I was very lucky and got to go back stage to see how the penguins are cared for and got to meet them very close up! At this point I would like to thank my camera for taking some lovely penguin pictures…

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Toto (a few months of being the oldest penguin in the world!!)
Toto (a few months of being the oldest penguin in the world!!)

All in all a very informative and fun day! Now I want to go to Antarctica for real please!!

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