Meet Hine-Moa the moa: the newest addition to the Christchurch Gondola’s Time Tunnel ride!
If you’ve been through the Time Tunnel lately you won’t have been able to miss seeing Hine-Moa, our 2-metre tall replica of a female South Island giant moa! South Island giant moa are thought to have been the tallest birds in the world with females growing up to 2 metres tall and up to 250kg in weight (males were a bit smaller) and were widespread throughout the South Island until they became extinct a few hundred years after humans settled in New Zealand. Hine-Moa is nestled into the native bird scene in the Time Tunnel and there is even a moa call to accompany her in the background audio.
Hine-Moa looks super lifelike and was made over three months by Australasian company Earthstory: the head, feet and feathers were printed on a 3D printer before being painstakingly hand-painted.
The moa weighs in at 80kg, and the box was so big that it wouldn’t fit into our Gondola cabins or even through the door to the Time Tunnel – the box had to be carried to the top station by helicopter early one morning and a hole was chopped in one of the walls to get the box inside!
Keep an eye out for the moa footprints leading from reception into the cabins and then through to the top station entrance, and make sure you walk through the gift shop to the Time Tunnel to say hello to Hine-Moa on your next visit to the Gondola!