Christchurch, South Island

IMG 1943 1200

Canterbury Museum Christchurch

Canterbury Museum – Discovery is our natural history centre for children and inquiring minds of all ages, bursting with weird and wonderful things to explore.

Canterbury Museum – explore the objects and the stories behind the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and discovery.

Canterbury Museum – treasures left to us by the Ancestors.

Canterbury Museum – step into the hustle and bustle of a typical nineteenth century Christchurch street.

Canterbury Museum

Canterbury Museum is a window into the wonders of New Zealand and has been operating and collecting treasures for over 130 years. From moa to Antarctic penguins and bizarre artefacts we have something to keep all ages interested.

Discovery - Especially for the Kids!

Discovery is our natural history centre for children and inquiring minds of all ages, bursting with weird and wonderful things to explore. Dig for fossils, watch the live tarantulas, gaze at the wall of preserved specimens, look through the drawers of pinned insects and learn all about our amazing world and the creatures that share it. Discovery memberships are available with birthday party options. Also check out our school holiday programmes.

Read more about exploring Canterbury Museum with kids here >>>

Take a free guided tour around Canterbury Museum

Staff will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with interesting information about the collections and exhibitions. Tours depart daily from the Museum foyer at 11.00 am and 2.00 pm. To join a tour, go to the Museum foyer at least 5 to 10 minutes before the start time, or register online.

Activity Age Information: Ideal for 3 -13 years.

Prices: Entry to the Museum is free; donations are appreciated.
Entry to Discovery is $2.00 per person (under three years free).
If you and your family are regular visitors to Discovery, join the Museum Explorer Club.

Museum Explorer Club

Free entry to Discovery and 10% discount at the Museum Cafe when your family joins the Museum Explorer Club. To join, download an application form here. For just $20 a year, your family can enjoy free entry to Discovery for up to two adults (parents or caregivers) and up to four children (must be from the same family). That's a huge saving each year if you are a regular visitor to Discovery.

Added extras
On top of that you also get a number of other benefits:

  • Your very own membership card
  • 10% discount at the Museum Cafe
  • The opportunity to have your birthday party at Discovery
  • Events at the Museum exclusive to Explorer Club members, including sneak previews of exhibitions and events.

Download a membership application form and join now!

Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • North Canterbury
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Rotorua
  • Queenstown
  • Taranaki
  • South Canterbury
  • Taupo
  • Southland
  • Waikato
  • Wanaka
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.