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International Antarctic Centre
International Antarctic Centre

International Antarctic Centre

star-4.5
292 Reviews
38 Orchard Rd, Christchurch Airport, Burnside, 8052

The Basics

At the International Antarctic Centre, inquisitive kids can learn lots about Antarctica before embarking on a simulated cruise in the center’s 4D cinema. For a more hands-on Antarctic experience, get caught in the center’s freezing indoor storm and shelter in a specially built ice cave, or strap in for a ride on the all-terrain Hagglund vehicle. Afterward, let off some steam with some snowballs. Don’t miss the Husky Cuddle Zone or the center’s rescued little blue penguins, which are native to New Zealand’s shores; feedings are twice daily.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Christchurch

star-5
Amazing
Erica_J, Dec 2020
International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket
The snow mobile ride was an awesome experience and the storm room with the Huskies was fantastic. Well worth going.
star-5
5 out of 5 experience
Dan747, Jul 2020
International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket
My family loved the experience. The highlight of our vacation is to visit the International Antarctic Center for our son and the trip exceeded our expectations! We loved the Hägglund experience and came to appreciate what our scientists and researchers are doing in the remote land of the Antarctic and its unforgiving temperatures. And we appreciate the 4D theatre experience too.
star-5
Wonderful day!
Nina_S, Mar 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
We had a wonderfully knowledgeable guide and driver who took us from Akaroa on the Banks peninsula to Christchurch. I was very interested in the rebuilding of the city after the earthquake. The botanical garden was a welcome stop after an hour long bus ride and the Antarctic Museum was fascinating. The Haglund vehicle ride was a hoot. The museum cafeteria was the only lunch option with very limited time, choices and service. Otherwise a wonderful day in New Zealand.
star-5
Fantastic tour
Wanda, Feb 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Scotty was a great guide. We were lucky the cafe at the Antarctic center was pretty empty so we all were able to have a bite to eat. Loved the Hagglund ride!
star-5
Excellent tour!
ericasaar, Jan 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
We had an excellent tour! Rob our tour guide was amazing! He had so much information to provide. We had lots of time to enjoy the International Antarctic Centre. Plus, we got back to Akaroa with enough time to enjoy a beer before boarding the ship. Awesome tour!
star-4
Good
Lolo, Jun 2020
International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket
Good place to visit with friends or family. Amazing what they've done to help those little penguins. The lady at the 4D (11.15am) could do with some customer service training and smile! Overall experience was good!!
star-4
Great experience
Linda_B, Feb 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Loved the Antarctic centre - but not enough time there. Perhaps it should be 2 separate tours. Felt rushed. But guide was fantastic.
star-5
Antartic Centre
joyceblack1, Feb 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Guide/driver was fabulous. Could have done with more time at Christchurch - a stop at the white chair memorial would have been good. Antarctic centre visit was excellent as was the guide
star-5
Holiday Adventure
wwilliam, Jan 2020
International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket
We are one adult and two children aged 5 and 6. We arrived at 1 30 and left at 5. We still had things to see. We had a great afternoon and enjoyed all the experiences. We also learned stuff....I can now recommend the Antarctic Centre with more exact details...and helpful pleasant staff who have a lot of work to do. Thank you
star-5
Great Tour!!
tomarias, Feb 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Great Tour. Our guide Scotty was excellent. Christchurch was very nice. The Antartic experience was unforgettable.
star-5
Great tour and driver
brenex, Feb 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Our driver, Scotty, was a wealth of information. He gave us a personal insight into life around Christchurch since the earthquake. He delivered his knowledge in a pleasing blend of facts and humour which truly enriched our tour. Christchurch is a beautiful place to visit. The Antarctic Center was interesting. .
star-5
Lots & lots of fun !
Nicole P, Jan 2020
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
We had lots of fun visiting the International Antartic Centre. Christchurch is recovering after the 2011 earthquake. beautiful University.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The International Antarctic Centre is ideal for families and anyone curious about the realities of the Antarctic.

  • To avoid waiting at entry, buy tickets in advance online.

  • Children under age 5 receive free admission.

  • Audio guides are available, as are lockers for luggage storage.

  • The center provides jackets and overshoes for the Antarctic storm exhibit, so you don’t freeze in the flurry.

  • Take a break at the center’s 60 South Café (open from 8am to 5pm daily), and browse for souvenirs at Shop Antarctica.

  • The center is accessible to wheelchair users.

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How to Get There

The International Antarctic Centre is across the road from Christchurch Airport on Orchard Road, a short drive from central Christchurch. Alternative to driving, catch the center’s free Penguin Express bus from the Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Avenue; it runs every two hours until closing.

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When to Get There

The center is open from 9am to 5:30pm every day of the year. To beat the Friday through Sunday crowds, stop in early. You might be able to fit everything in before lunchtime, including a penguin feeding and the chance to brave the Antarctic storm with the huskies.

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A Close(r) Encounter

The Antarctic Centre runs an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour to areas not accessible to other visitors. Three times a day, a ranger shows folks how the penguin enclosure works and how to feed the penguins. Book in advance, as space on these backstage tours is limited.

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