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Thread: Antartic Adventure Chch !!!!!!!!

  1. #1
    alan&moyra's Avatar
    alan&moyra is offline Senior Member
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    Unhappy Antartic Adventure Chch !!!!!!!!

    Ok this is going to sound like a bit of a rant but I think it is a very justified rant.

    Please read this objective view before visiting.

    Antarctic Experience in Chch , what the hell is that all about ? we decided to take our 2 year old daughter to this as it could be fun and would keep her out of the midday sun, so lets critique this experience.

    We arrived in the car park to see it is a pay and display, a tad odd for a major attraction we thought but it is almost at the departure gate and would likely be misused if there were not signs to that effect, the display read "we recommend parking for a minimum of 3 hours" in which we naturally assumed that it would be an accurate time frame to park for, so we parted with our $3.

    On entering the reception our daughter, only 2 years old, was excited by the large stuffed penguins but we decided to be cautious on this asd ask advise as to whether this would be suitable for a 2 year old, we were advised that it would be and she would have a great time, we then noticed the admission fee $30 per adult, fortunately as she is only 2 our daughter was free, so it was at a total of $63 already and we had not actually entered the artic. So we proceeded through the entrance door to a scene from an expedition to the south pole then looking up snow started to fall, this is looking good we thought, nice touch, however on catching the flakes they were what looked like washing up liquid foam, come on Antartic at least lets make this as real as possible.

    We passed through this to the real experience where you enter a, what can only be described as, a large freezer room with a poor scant display of a snow mobile and an igloo, with a tent in the corner, this room simulates the frozen south with a temperature of -8c to begin with then they drop the temp to a chilly approx-18c and wind speed of up to 40kph, we got there just as it was about to start and asked the staff how long till the next one would happen, she replied what sounded like " in 5" we assumed 5 minutes but on looking at the count down clock it was an hour !!!! We then said can we just come back to be told of course you can there is plenty to do to keep the little one occupied till then.

    We proceeded to the penguin enclosure/ display and had to look really hard ro find all 4 of them, I assume that there are more that they were keeping out the hot sun, we stayed for a few minutes then moved on to the next area, to find we ended up where we had started ...........

    We noticed a sign directing to other areas which we went to, this was basically a poor display of rocks ice picks and how the Antarctic was formed, they had a revolving sun with the earth orbiting to show the different seasons and how they affect the earth, there should have been a light shining from the sun but the bulb was not working.........

    There was then a small cinema showing a film of different areas of the Antarctic, pretty white and snowy.......... so we then walked through the door to find the exit !!!!!!!!!

    We headed back to the "chiller room" to experience this, but on arrival there were no staff to be seen, we hunted for a jacket to suit our 2 year old but could not find anything smaller than a 7 year olds jacket, then hunting through the pile of protective shoes for her there were none that would even come close to fitting her, just at that a staff member appeared but before I could ask her about clothing for my daughter a large party of tourists arrived and the staff were like worker bees around them pandering to their every need, leaving us to try to fend for ourself and find suitable protective clothing for out daughter, eventually we gave up as it got too crowded in the small area and she was becoming distressed, and at no point did a staff member leave the tourist party to assist us.....

    This whole adventure lasted 30 minutes.......... that works out at $2.10 per minute for 2 adults and a 2 year old, if you had older kids this will be an expensive day out, please don't get me wrong I am not all Mr doom and gloom we have visited other parks, Willowbank and Orana spring to mind and spent a full day at them and totally loved them.

    Come on Antarctic, this is meant to be a premium attraction, it is one of the first sights you see on leaving the airport, but it is extremely disappointing, if you have been to any zoo with penguins you will see a lot more than you do in here.

    I believe this rant is justified in the fact that they charge $30 per adult for what could actually take less than the 30 minutes it took us to wander round the experience

    Sorry folks but this is the most overated and disappointing experience Christchurch has to offer

  2. #2
    Glenda's Avatar
    Glenda is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Sounds an absolute waste of time and money. Glad we didn't get around to going there.

    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  3. #3
    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    Sorry to hear you had such a poor day Al. We've been a few times and always enjoyed it..... sort of.

    It's definately not suitable for 2 year olds and I'm always surprised they don't have a sign advising that fact. Did you do the Haaglund ride? That's the best bit, but you do have to pay extra and it would be scary for toddlers. The close-up penguin experience is also quite good, but again it costs extra.

    We arrived right in front of two coach loads of Japanese tourists and it was horrible. The snow room was a nightmare - I wouldn't be exagerating if I said it felt like football stadium disaster waiting to happen. I complained and they gave us a voucher to come back later.

  4. #4
    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    Sorry about the bad experience there. I, too, was disappointed by quality of the experience for the price and its general unsuitability for my boys (2 and 5). My wife and I could have spent a couple of hours there, but the kids ... I think we stretched it out to about 60 minutes, which included walking through everything twice and sitting for about 10 minutes waiting for a penguin to dive into the water. :sigh:

    On a related note, I can't recommend the Southern Exprience in Victoria Square, either. It's not that it's bad; it's actually quite nice for a little aquarium, but it is *very* little.

    BTW, are you familiar with Lillipop's Playland? If not, look into it. It's a great thing to do with the wee one on a rainy day. She can run around and be crazy while the two of you enjoy a nice coffee.
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  5. #5
    alan&moyra's Avatar
    alan&moyra is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Jon

    Yes we have found the wonders of Lollipops...... she loves it as we do to, it is a great place to let them try to burn off the excess energy they seem to store up, we went a few times when we first arrived but now we are both working full time its a little harder, we tend to go to somewhere different at weekends to keep her amused.

    We didnt try the Hagglund ride, i think by the time we left we were so disgusted and disappointed by the experience we had just decided to chalk it up to one of those "you learn by experience days"

    But Chch as a whole we love it, albeit we are struggling to meet friends, I know having a 2 year old can have a severe restriction on your social life but having other adult company is handy..............., I put it down to the fact we are in rental accomodation just now ?? hopefully when we move to our own place it will change, anyhoos sorry to depress everybody, think we are over the holiday feeling and into the realisastion of "we really have left home" stage......

    Alan

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