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New Zealand South Seas International Exhibition 15208964941

Experience history

The past is being reimagined in virtual reality for modern day "visitors".

In 1925-26 Dunedin hosted the New Zealand & South Seas International Exhibition. A series of pavilions were constructed including a domed festival hall. The site included an amusement park with a railway loop, restaurant, and tearooms, along with displays from New Zealand provinces and some overseas countries. A new tree-lined Anzac Avenue linked the exhibition grounds with the city centre. More than 3,000,000 visitors paid for admission to the exhibition, more than twice the population of New Zealand at the time. 

As the exhibition's 100th anniversary approaches, Alison Breese, Digital Archivist at Dunedin City Council is collaborating with our Architectural Studies and Information Technology students to recreate some of the experiences of the exhibition in Virtual Reality. 

Bachelor of Information Technology student Sam Sherlaw has begun the project, developing three activities in virtual reality. Users with VR goggles can ride the rollercoaster, throw balls at a target, or try and hook rings over pegs. This project is expected to continue with successive students adding new features and refining the environment to create an immersive experience.

September 2021