Ōtautahi Christchurch is proud to be an Antarctic Gateway City, one of only five in the world.
The role of the Christchurch Antarctic Office is to co-ordinate the opportunities presented by Christchurch’s Antarctic Gateway status and to explore our historic and modern connections with the icy continent.
As Sir Edmund Hillary noted, “much of the history of Antarctic exploration has flowed through Christchurch,” starting over 100 years ago with the “Heroic Era” explorations of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, who both used Christchurch as a basecamp for their Antarctic expeditions.
Christchurch Antarctic Office & Connections
Christchurch Antarctic Office
Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury
Antarctic Heritage Trust
Days of Ice
Coming February 2022
Ōtautahi Christchurch is proud to be one of only five Antarctic Gateway cities in the world. Days of Ice celebrates Christchurch’s unique connection with Antarctica.
Discover something for everyone from activations and exhibitions to guest speakers and polar films, as well as kids’ activities and competitions.
The Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP)
The city, through the University of Canterbury, is proud to host the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) Secretariat. The COMNAP Secretariat has been located in Christchurch since 2009. COMNAP is the international association, formed in 1988, which brings together its 30 Members, who are the National Antarctic Programs. National Antarctic Programs are those organizations that have responsibility for delivering and supporting scientific research in the Antarctic Treaty Area on behalf of their respective governments and in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty. COMNAP’s purpose is to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica.
A unique platform for Christchurch businesses
Christchurch Antarctic Network and Directory
The Christchurch Antarctic Network provides a unique platform for Christchurch businesses to tell their Antarctic stories of product and service delivery and business innovation to International Antarctic Programmes.
It is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all.Sir Ernest Shackleton
Experience the Gateway
Experience Antarctica in Christchurch
Christchurch's Antarctic Heritage
Listen Up Ōtautahi
Learn about Ōtautahi's role as an Antarctic gateway city on our audio tour.
Hear from scientists and artists, historians and curators and get a taste for the magic, adventure and importance of this otherworldly continent.
The tour takes about 90 minutes covering 1.2km with 18 stops. If you're with young ones be sure to look out for the Antarctic creatures hidden along the route.
Access the experience via your browser.