Free day in Christchurch and it turns out I'm still recovering from lost sleep, as I don't see much of the morning.

My first direction of the day is towards a bus for Christchurch's Antarctic Centre. The Magick Christchurch Bus Map gets me there without incident and I soon discover the dreadful truth: They have furries on staff.

It's actually not that bad - the centre is a celebration of Antarctic exploration on the site of the Kiwi, Italian and US stepping off points for their own Antarctic stations. The exhibition includes such wonders as a simulated storm complete with snow and howling winds, their own colony of blue penguins and a ride showing what a Hagglund Arctic Transporter is capable of. (Answer: 45 degree slopes, 2m crevases and tarmac).

The centre offers a suitably decorated penguin bus to the centre of town, which I employ to get to the art gallery. It turns out to host a couple of good exhibitions. There's a hall of kinetic sculpture playing with arcing electricity, which is always fun. Every thirty seconds the lobby is punctuated by a bzzzzzzt-crack.

But I find the best exhibition to be the one in my own pet medium, photography. It's a series of photographs on the theme of "Hidden America", shedding light on facets of the country which aren't generaly seen. It's a fascinating slice of Americana, taking in areas from forensic study of decomposing corpses to hymenoplasty.

After the art gallery, I find my way to the Canterbury Museum. There isn't a great deal of time left before it closes, but it's no great loss given that like so many museums in NZ, it's free. I buzz around it until I chucked out, but nothing really sticks in my mind as outstanding.

Getting back to the hotel is a short walk through the Botanic Gardens.

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