Christchurch ATTRACTIONS See all

International Antarctic Centre

Experience everything you want to know about the icy continent of Antarctica at the International Antarctic Centre, from indoor ice storms to ATV rides and penguins. Feeding time at the NZ Penguin encounter is hugely popular, as is the Penguin ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

Travelled with kids, and they simply loved it, lots to see and learn, a must see attraction if you going to Christchurch

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2013

The bus we travelled around in had broken rear suspension and we bounced around very uncomfortably. The bus was dirty and needed some inside fixtures repaired. The driver was friendly but appeared disinterested. Christchurch is still devastated from the 2011 earthquake and there is not much to see as the driver kept pointing out where buildings had once been. Very disappointing tour.

Doing what: Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2013

Interesting exhibits, with penguin feeding and commentary especially enjoyed. Ride on Hagglund altogether too wild for over 70's like ourselves - threw us around too violently to be appreciated. Wildlife Centre guided visit to native bird section was enthralling, close proximity to native and rare birds a real privilege.Dinner at the Casino was lovely.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2012

the tour was ok as I was with teenager children. But the city is still not alive because of earthquake. So my group was me and my children only.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
July 2012

The Antarctic Centre and Willowbank Wildlife Centre are both great sights, but this tour was unfortunately somewhat disappointing. While we arrived at the Antarctic Centre before the 3pm departure time stated on the website, we barely had an hour there, missing out on some of the key attractions, before having to depart for the Wildlife Centre. The tour at the Wildlife centre began at 4:30pm for an hour, by which time the Reserve had closed (winter hours), and our driver was ready us rush off to the dinner destination. Dinner was fine, although in keeping with the rest of the tour, rather hurried. Again we were only allotted about an hour, and had only just got our mains when our driver returned to take us back to our hotel. Even though we would have made it back to our accommodation well before the 8:30pm finish time, only a small extension was offered, as the driver had another job to attend. We decided to make alternative arrangements.

This tour had a lot of potential, but perhaps the description needs updating, or additional information to let people that activities in the winter or off season (if that was the reason) are different to those stated. For example, the dinner wasn’t at the Wildlife Reserve, as described on the website. If you have very limited time in Christchurch, this tour might be worth considering. However, if you’re less restricted, neither of the sights are too difficult to get to on your own and there’s a free shuttle to the Antarctic Centre from the center of town.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

Mark W
Australia

3 star rating: Worth doing
June 2012

The Antarctic Centre is alot of fun for kids and has some very interesting information for adults. We enjoyed the penguins, the Ice Storm room and reading about life in the Antarctic. The Haggalund is definitely worth doing. Willowbank was ok but wouldn't rave about it. We did get to see our first KIwi though. We had a bit of spare time before dinner so our driver took us on a little tour of the city and showed us some of the devastation caused by the Earthquake which we wouldn't have seen otherwise. We had dinner at the Casino which was really nice.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

Michael B
Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2011

It was a quiet day, so not all of the attractions were running as scheduled - except our tour guide made sure they did. The snow room and hagglund ride are a must - the 4D adventure comprised of getting squirted in the face with water (that was the 4th D)

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2011

Though the earthquake closed the Antartic Center, the tour operator did a great job of providing alternative arrangements. Our driver, Ross, was outstanding -- friendly and personable.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

John V
Netherlands

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
August 2010

We thought we would stop for longer periods of time at more places.

Doing what: Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission

Paul C
Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2010

Very nice tour through the city and up to the lookout and the harbour. Wouldn't recommend the Antarctic Centre unless you have children with you.

Doing what: Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission

Suzanne
Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2010

I have done this tour before but had not done the Antarctic Center, which was fantastic.

Doing what: Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission

Anonymous

Anonymous

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2010

Fairly basic tour of Christchurch and nearby areas. It could be better, but it covers most of the key sights.

Doing what: Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission

Kenneth A
Australia

3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2010

The bus driver did not communicate very well what there was to see in Christchurch other than lots of suburbs and shops. There was no information on tourism, history or information about Christchurch.

Doing what: Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission

Ray L
Australia

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
March 2010

The guide was difficult to understand - he had a heavy English accent. His knowledge of Christchurch was very good, if you could understand him. He was polite but did not have any enthusiasm for his job. It is just a job for him. He said that his job is truck driving. Unfortunately, I was not very happy with the tour operator. As we were the only couple to take the optional International Antarctic Center admission, the guide wanted us to make our own way back to our accommodation. We were not happy about this. We were picked up from our accommodation in the first place! When I asked what public transport would take us back to our accommodation, the guide did not know - he just expected to leave us at the Antarctic Centre to make our own way back to our lodgings in a strange country! The guide then contacted who I presumed to be his boss and said he would pick us up in 2 hours and take us back to our accommodation. He did do this. This tour left a sour taste with us.

Doing what: Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission

Graeme S
Australia

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2009

Great trip. Was ideal time as we flew in late night before was perfect timing, pick up in afternoon as it gave us the morning to get ourselves together and have a lazy morning. A quick look around, get our bearings before we started on the serious stuff. The driver was great and very helpful. We had a wonderful time.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2008

The Antartic Center is a definite must - loved every aspect of that part of the tour. The Kiwi tour was a little disappointing but the meal they served was sensational, would do again.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2008

The Antarctic Centre was very informative. The Blizzard Room was great - if you closed your eyes you certainly felt as though you were at the South Pole in the middle of a blizzard with temperature of minus 18 Celsius! We then travelled to the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve for a meal and escorted tour of the Reserve. The meal was excellent, promptly served, and the guided evening tour was great. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and I would definitely recommend Willowbank as an outing - particularly the range of wildlife on display including a nocturnal house that displayed the kiwi. Great fun. The entire excursion was well organised; all staff at both locations were friendly and helpful.

Doing what: Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

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