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   Image courtesy of Sally Walker

From: Sally Walker
Christchurch, New Zealand, October 7, 2008

Christchurch, New Zealand

Landing in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the world's windiest airports, is unforgettable. Snowcapped Southern Alps, braided streams criss-cross the landscape amidst a patchwork quilt of green pastures, and a ragged and beautiful coastline stretch before you. New Zealand is one of the World's most active mountain-building regions, located at the boundary between the colliding Australian and Pacific Plates which is responsible for this beautiful vista.

Serious weather conditions delayed my immediate departure to Antarctica, so I explored Christchurch, visiting Sir Ernst Rutherford's lab where he conducted his first experiments with electricity and magnetism. As depicted in the postcard, the City Center has a gorgeous Anglican Church built in 1862. Nearby is the River Avon draped by graceful willows and surrounded by planted beds of early spring flowers. Christchurch, the Garden City, is important: it provides scientists and other workers their last view of colorful trees and flowers before departing for the stark white landscape of Antarctica.

New Zealand geologic history

Rutherford's Lab

The Antarctic

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