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Seven Ways to Experience the World From Home

April 23, 2020 | Life with MS, Support

Staying at home is often hard. Many of us love to explore, experience and enjoy the world outside our homes. Whether you’re maintaining your bubble to reduce the risk of COVID-19 or finding it hard to get out because of reduced mobility, we struggle when we can’t do the things we enjoy most.

If you’ve been stuck inside for a while, you’ll probably start feeling the discomfort of that itch to see and do more outside your bubble. Unfortunately, we must maintain our bubbles if we are to ensure New Zealand’s success against COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable communities.

So, to help take the edge off that itch to explore, experience and enjoy the world outside, we have compiled a list of things you can do from home. All of these will help you encounter the world outside of your bubble, but with a unique focus on New Zealand and Multiple Sclerosis. Amongst these suggestions, you’ll find plenty to keep the kids occupied.

But first, enjoy this beautiful photo collection of Kiwis at home, from years gone past.


Hooker Valley walk
Photo by Roell de Ram on Unsplash

Get Your Outdoors and Nature Fix:

» Enjoy New Zealand’s most iconic sights through these outstanding 360-degree videos from New Zealand Geographic. Fly over Taranaki at dawn or experience the wonder of diving at the Poor Knights. You can also check out your favourite spots with these webcams.

» Watch a live video feed of New Zealand’s favourite Royal Albatross family, down near Dunedin.

» You can also keep an eye on all kinds of amazing animals through live streams from San Diego Zoo and Melbourne Zoo. Melbourne Zoo currently has a live stream of snow leopard cubs: pretty cool.


Auckland, 1900s, London, by Walter Scarlett Hatton. Acquisition history unknown. Te Papa (1992-0035-1653)

Explore New Zealand’s Heritage:

» Take a 360-degree, virtual tour of Parliament through a handy app on your Apple or Android device. The informative tour is narrated in English or Maori.

» Browse national taonga in Te Papa’s online collections. Explore the work of New Zealand artists through videos, podcasts, and in-depth articles, or complete online jigsaws based on prized artworks. Learn about biculturalism or brush up on your Maori pronunciation.

» Check out the National Library, which offers some great learning resources and a sizable collection of easily-searchable historic photos and papers.

» Take a trip through time, visit your favourite places and see what it was like during the period of your choice. Search DigitalNZ by place or time for fascinating and historic videos, photographs, newspapers, maps, and artwork.

» Starting on from the 28th of April, you’ll be able to take a virtual tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. These live tours (conducted over Zoom) include a Q&A time. Jump online to book your tour.

» Take an accessibility-friendly tour of the Auckland Town Hall. Listed as a Category A heritage site, the Town Hall is home to the country’s largest musical instrument: the organ. Watch a performance here.

» The Puke Ariki museum in Taranaki has made a previous exhibit, Whare Kahurangi, available as a virtual tour and looks at objects that are precious to Taranaki and why they’ve been collected.


Stan Walker
Photo by Eva Rinaldi / CC

Enjoy A Performance:

» Connect with famous Kiwi artists through live performances, offered with Spark Sessions and Vodafone Lounge Jams. Spark is streaming live performances every Sunday and Wednesday at 7:30 pm (access previous events here). Vodafone streams their live performance on Thursday at 7 pm. For an international selection of artists, visit Live Nation.

» Watch amazing performances from the Royal New Zealand Ballet, free online. Select a show and check out their weekly broadcast schedule. Note that ballet dancers will be available online to answer any of your questions during the broadcast.

» The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is offering some of their performances free online. Their online library includes favourites from Beethoven to a waiata by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa; from a fun, informal concerts to a full orchestral journey through the history of New Zealand from pre-European times.

» Each Friday (NZST), the UK’s premier National Theatre releases free, full-length recordings of its theatre productions. Please note that these recordings are available for for a limited time.

» Andrew Lloyd Webber, famous for shows like Cats and Phantom of the Opera, is releasing full-length recordings of his musicals online. These are broadcast on Saturday (NZST) and are available for 48 hours.


Petra and Camel
Photo by Alessa Ciraulo on Unsplash

Travel Overseas:

» Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to help bring virtual tours to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This means you travel without leaving your couch. Explore all the museums and galleries or start with this list of Google’s top 10.

» Enjoy immersive, 360-degree photo and video tours from around the world through Airpano. Chill out on Caribbean beaches or experience the thrill of paragliding in Russia. Explore the ancient city of Petra in Jordan or mountain landscapes in Tajikistan.

» Alternatively, take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace.


Watch a Documentary or Film:

» Head to the New Zealand Geographic for a library of excellent documentaries with a New Zealand focus. You get three free articles or documentaries per month, but you can pay $1 for two weeks of access to all their content. After that, continued access is $8.50 for two months.

» Watch the legendary Banff Film Festival at home, courtesy of the New Zealand Alpine Club.

» Get inspired by the stories of others with Multiple Sclerosis or related disabilities. Please note that these films will require a subscription to access:

  • 100 Metres (Netflix): a Spanish man with Multiple Sclerosis enters an Ironman, despite being told that he could not make 100 meters.
  • When I Walk (Amazon Prime): an inspiring six-year journey after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Crip Camp (Netflix): a summer camp for teenagers with disabilities that transformed their lives and ignited a landmark movement.

» MS Teamworks offers a quality collection of free videos from Multiple Sclerosis patients, clinicians, and caregivers. Watch inspiring stories of others with Multiple Sclerosis. Learn about mental and emotional well-being or how to live well with Multiple Sclerosis. Click for the full range of topics.

» Kanopy is a video platform that specialises in high-quality independent and classic film collections to many public libraries. This extensive film library includes several about or relating to Multiple Sclerosis and related conditions. Create an account to see if your local library offers full access.


Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

Read a Book:

» Ebooks and audiobooks are a great way to experience the world when you can’t get to your local library. Many New Zealand libraries give access to a digital library, so find a library near you and see what they offer. You may be able to use BorrowBox with your library card and connect with a wide selection of Australian and New Zealand titles.

» The Mental Health Education and Resource Centre has a library of free ebooks and audiobooks that cover a variety of mental health topics. You will need to be a member of a local participating library to access this helpful resource.

» You can also get a free trial of Audible, Amazon’s audiobook platform. Sign up and receive one audiobook, as well as unlimited access to podcasts and 100s of children’s books.


Kids at home
Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash

Entertain or Educate the Kids:

» Scouts New Zealand is offering Scouting From Home Programmes free to anyone in New Zealand while we are in lockdown. This programme delivers three fun activities each week, encouraging your kids to focus on personal development, adventure and community.

» New Zealand Geographic’s Together at Home provides daily activities, videos and stories specifically designed to educate your kids about New Zealand and keep them busy.

» Sparklers is all about helping kids when times are tough. Sparklers at Home gives parents an enormous selection of activities for kids, easily filtered by activity type, well-being topic and emotion.

» Audible has opened up free access to a large collection of classic children’s audiobooks. Access favourites like Peter Rabbit, through to Harry Potter.

» Through the UK’s BookTrust, you can freely access animated, read-along audiobooks for young children. Classics include Hairy Maclary and Ugly Duckling


Cover Photo by Atlas Green on Unsplash