Antarctica

Christchurch is an official gateway city to Antarctica. It was the New Zealand base for the British Antarctic expeditions in 1901 and 1910. This page explores our early links with the South Pole.

Explore our Antarctic connections

Christchurch City Council has a page on our Antarctic connections including a document listing places with links to the South Pole.

The Canterbury Museum has an extensive collection of Antarctic historical resources. The International Antarctic Centre has exhibitions showing past and present life on the ice.

Roald Amundsen
Bust of Roald Amundsen, Canterbury Museum. Flickr CCL-2012-Amundsen

Find information about Antarctica in our collection

Antarctic history resources

Early days in Antarctica
A Digital NZ set of images from the first Polar explorations.
Papers Past
Explore historical news stories related to the South Pole and Antarctica.
Historic Antarctic images
From the Antarctica NZ Digital Asset Manager (ADAM)
Antarctica and New Zealand – Voyages of discovery
Nigel Roberts. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 24 July 2012.
Antarctica and New Zealand
New Zealand History Online (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 3 February 2012.

Antarctic Adventure

Captain Robert Falcon Scott Statue

Scott memorial, corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace, Christchurch : the Clarendon Hotel can be seen on the left next to the Public Trust Office[194-?]
Scott memorial, corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace, Christchurch : the Clarendon Hotel can be seen on the left next to the Public Trust Office [194-?] CCL PhotoCD 16, IMG0069
A statue of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, CVO, RN, is on the river bank at the intersection of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street. There is information on the statue on the Christchurch City Council website. There is also more about the statue in Public art in Christchurch, a study by the Robert McDougall Art Gallery.

 

It was sculpted by Scott’s widow, Lady Kathleen Scott, and purchased from her by the Christchurch City Council. It was to be made in bronze, but when work started in 1915 World War I was underway and all available metal was being used for armaments.

It serves as a memorial to those who died with Scott on his return journey from the South Pole in 1912, and bears his last message:

I do not regret this journey, which shows that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past.

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