Christchurch Antarctic Link – An opportunity for on-site interpretation at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens provide an opportunity to celebrate the role that Canterbury has played in the history of Antarctic exploration. The Heroic Age polar explorers needed to calibrate navigational instruments in the Southern Hemisphere before heading to Antarctica. Many of them came to do this at the Magnetic Observatory, based in the Christchurch’s central Public Gardens. This was the start of an ongoing and vital link between Christchurch and Antarctica. There is one building, the Workshop, remaining from the Magnetic Observatory that operated from1901 to 1969. This report suggests developing on-site interpretation panels to provide park visitors with an understanding of the historical significance of the site. Given the Garden setting, the panels can also introduce some information on Antarctica biota. A visitor questionnaire is suggested to gauge visitor knowledge and interest, which will be useful when resources are available to develop a visitor experience within the Workshop.