Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch is the
second largest city
in New Zealand, but
still very small by
US standards with a
population of
350,000 people. It
is known as the
most British city in
New Zealand.
One impressive
aspect of New
Zealand is the fact
that there is no
admission charge to
the parks. The roads
are very well
maintained, and
most museums
charge no admission.

The people drive at
reasonable speeds
and are consistently
courteous.

Smokers are almost
nonexistent and smoke free
restaurants and
accommodations common.
Christchurch (and its port of Littleton) have always been a major launching point for Antarctica activities. There are
two superb museums on Antarctica in Christchurch. The first of these museums is at the airport, directly across from
the United States facility that is located in Christchurch to service the facility at  McMurdoch.
Next to the US facility was a US Air Force plane ready to make its flight to McMurdoch. Indeed, when taking our walking
tour of Christchurch, we encountered a young man from the air force who was about to go on this plane for a 25 day
stint at McMurdoch to service aircraft at the research station.
At the museum in
downtown
Christchurch, we saw
two of the four
vehicles that made the
first trip across
Antarctica in the
1950s.
When at the Antarctica museum, for one brief moment, I thought I
imagined someone I knew driving across Antarctica (right).

Curiously, Jackie had the same sense of deja vu when visiting one of the
historic buildings in Christchurch (below).
Christchurch has two spectacular harbors in a
short distance, both of them extinct volcanic
craters. The first is Littleton where we will
depart tomorrow on our voyage to Antarctica.
The second is Banks Peninsula which we
visited today (left and below with Jackie on
beach).
On the way back to Christchurch we stopped at a beach on a 12 mile spit. There we gazed at the ocean with the
Penninsula in the background (below).