Sir Ed’s Antarctic hut to make 'virtual' appearance in Akaroa

Scott Base’s oldest building will appear at a Banks Peninsula school on Friday - in virtual reality.

The VR experience will allow pupils at Akaroa School to explore the old hut built by a Sir Edmund Hillary-led team in Antarctica.

The experience will give them an insight into how the 23 men on Sir Ed’s team lived and worked in the world’s most extreme environment more than 60 years ago.

Hillary's hut. Photo: Sue Bassett
Hillary's hut. Photo: Sue Bassett
Antarctic Heritage Trust general manager operations and communications Francesca Eathorne, who oversaw the project development, hopes the VR tour will inspire people to learn more about Antarctica and the famous New Zealand explorer.

"Sir Ed’s hut is part of the rich history of Antarctic exploration and we will be taking this experience to as many students around New Zealand as we can.

"Most people will never get the chance to visit Antarctica so virtual reality is a fantastic way to give people a glimpse of what it would be like to visit this special place.

"Hopefully the fascinating stories of what Sir Ed and his team achieved furthering science and exploration will inspire the next generation of explorers."

Hillary's hut. Photo: Tim McPhee
Hillary's hut. Photo: Tim McPhee
Hillary’s hut was Scott Base’s first building and was built by a team led by Sir Ed to support the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition and the International Geophysical Year.

The trust cares for the hut and four other historic expedition bases in Antarctica. The trust conserved Hillary's hut in time for Scott Base's 60th anniversary in 2017.

Users can tour the five rooms of the building, viewing hundreds of artefacts from the early years of New Zealand’s Antarctic programme, while learning more about New Zealand’s first.

Ted Gawn and Peter Mulgrew in the radio room. Photo: Antarctica NZ pictorial collection
Ted Gawn and Peter Mulgrew in the radio room. Photo: Antarctica NZ pictorial collection
Ryman Healthcare are the principal sponsor for the project with Dulux New Zealand sponsoring the national tour.

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