13) Antarctic Port Sled Dog Statue
Seafaring in Lyttelton spans 500 years since Maori first arrived. Captain James Cook voyaged to Antarctica in 1770 after naming Banks’ ‘Island’ (Peninsula) for his biologist Sir Joseph Banks. Whaler Benjamin Morell, in Antarctic, is the first recorded Antarctican to visit Lyttelton in 1830. Several whaling ships followed and by the 1840’s many had stayed.
Lyttelton became a haven for Antarctic exploration in the heroic era, which continued through International Geophysical Year (IGY) in the 1950s. Modern visitors are low key. Keep an eye out for Italica (Italy), Nathaniel B Palmer (US), Araon (Korea), Spirit of Enderby (NZ), Sir Hubert Wilkes (Aus), fishing vessels such as OceanBreeze and private expeditions such as Apostol Andrey (USSR), Gambo (UK) and Greenpeace.
If you stand next to the statue and look out towards the habour, you can see the island (Quail Island) where the animals used during the expeditions were kept and quarantined.
The bronze sled dog statue celebrates 250 years of Lyttelton's association with the Antarctic.
Download Lyttelton Harbour Antarctic Port Brochure for more information.