Scott Base's oldest building, a hut built by a Sir Edmund Hillary-led team is visiting Auckland, in virtual reality form.
Antarctic Heritage Trust's Virtual Reality roadshow will begin at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, home to the Hillary House Leadership Centre on 18 and 19 May and Ferguson Intermediate School (Otara) on 20 and 21 May, 2021.
Developed in partnership with Auckland University of Technology (AUT), the virtual reality (VR) experience allows users to explore Sir Edmund Hillary's hut in Antarctica. The experience provides insight into how the 23 men of Sir Ed's team lived and worked in the world's most extreme environment more than 60 years ago.
The VR roadshow will then join Tech Week celebrations by visiting Ryman Healthcare's Edmund Hillary and Grace Joel villages on 26 May and 27 May. Ryman Healthcare is a major sponsor of the VR experience.
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The Trust's General Manager Operations and Communications Francesca Eathorne, who oversaw the project development, hopes the VR tour inspires people to learn more about Antarctica and the nation's most famous son.
"Sir Ed's hut is part of the rich history of Antarctic exploration and we are excited to bring 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 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 this 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 presence in Antarctica.