Top Museums In Christchurch

Museums often act as a reminder as for how far we have come as a society. If there’s one city in the world that can boast its rich selection of museums covering almost every aspect of world heritage, it has to be the great Christchurch city. Museums in Christchurch, New Zealand welcomes thousands of tourists every year from all around the globe. Having said that, let’s dive more into the museums in Christchurch and why it makes the whole city prone to tourists.

Top 7 Museums To Visit In Christchurch

From compelling themed installations, ancient history and old classics makes these 7 museums in Christchurch city a must visit for anyone visiting the city.

1. Canterbury Museum


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Canterbury Museum welcomed its first visitor in 1867, and since then is home for a diverse range of natural and human history pieces. From fossil bones to Maori artifacts to Asian arts and most importantly, world’s Antarctic themed collection, Canterbury Museum is one of those museums in Christchurch, New Zealand, that has a collection for everyone from children to adults. Registered as a “Historic Place – Category I” by Heritage New Zealand, the museum is alone responsible for attracting around 1 Million tourists in the 2016-17 year. Don’t forget to check out the permanent exhibitions in the museums – the Paula Shell House, the museum’s Early European Settlers display and the Quake City.

The Canterbury Museum entrance fee is free of cost for visitors. The entry to the museum is free, but donations are appreciated. The museum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, all 7 days a week.

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2. Rutherford’s Den

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Rutherford’s Den is a historic space dedicated to the country’s most famous scientist – Ernest Rutherford, also known as the father of Nuclear Science. Located in Christchurch Arts Center, it is a small interactive museum with collections of Rutherford’s works. The TV, the radio or even telephones we enjoy are just some of the inventions of Ernest, Lod Rutherford, and his peers – all displayed in the museum. You can have hands-on activities and learn about science in the very room Rutherford studied.

The museum is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm with a $10 entry fee for adults and $5 entry fee for students and children.

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3. Yaldhurst Museum

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A place for car lovers and a hidden gem of the of Christchurch city, Yaldhurst Museum is just 20 mins away from the city center. This is a museum of Transport and Science holding displays of classic cars over a span of a century which makes it one of the best Christchurch museums. The museum has a break taking a collection (about 150 cars) of the widest range of car models from horse model to buggy cars. Established by a car enthusiast and collector, Alfred Thornhill Cooper, Yaldhurst Museum is now open for 50 years.

The museum is open Wed-Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM with the last entry of 3.45pm. The entrance fee for Yaldhurst Museum is $10 for students with valid ID and $20 for adults.

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4. The Toy Collector

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There might hardly be anyone who did not love toys as a kid and that is what this makes this museum special. The toy collector is a new player when it comes to museums in Christchurch. Born recently in 2016, the toy collectors is for all toy lovers displaying a huge collection of toys from all ages. The fully functioning railway model is one of the best attractions of this museum. The museum is a trip down your memory lane and you will witness all the toys you had ever wanted as a child from lego superhero miniatures to a movie-themed toy. You name it, the toy collector has it.

You can enter this museum in Christchurch for 10$ if you are an adult and pay $5 for children. The museum is open 7 days a week from 10 am – 4 pm but only accepts groups by arrangement on Tuesdays and Fridays.

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5. Airforce Museum of New Zealand

Airforce Museum of New Zealand

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If you are a history buff and love aircraft, you will not find a better place in Christchurch. The Air force museum of New Zealand, formerly also known as The Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum first welcomed the visitors in 1987 holding a mission to conserve and show the history of New Zealand military aviation for commemoration, inspiration, learning, and enjoyment. It is much like the Army Museum in Christchurch, but with much more to offer to people of all ages. The museum banks on six buildings on the same site and displays its majestic collection of vintage aircraft, engines, and vehicles gathered from the country’s military efforts, making it one of the most popular Christchurch museums.

Located near the Christchurch city airport, The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is open throughout the week from 10 am to 5 pm for free entrance.

6. The Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities

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Whether you are classics student, posses an interest in cultures or just looking to kill some time while witnessing something interesting in Christchurch, this museum is the right fit for you. This small one-roomed museum is a new home for old objects. You will be very excited to see the Logie Collection of Greek, Roman, Near Eastern and Egyptian antiquities. The collection is well laid out with the necessary signage and descriptions of the objects.

The Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities is open for public from Wed-Sun from 11am-3pm and is absolutely free to enter.

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7. International Antarctic Center

International Antarctic Center

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like in the Antarctic or spent hours in Reddit researching about it? Pull up your boots and put on your coats as this museum in Christchurch takes you to an ultimate Antarctic adventure. Indulge yourself in the dramatic “Four Seasons of Antarctica” show where it snows every 6 minutes. You can go to ‘the ice’ from Scott base to play in ‘Antarctica’ – the ice & snow experience and live your Antarctic dreams. Opened in 1992 and viewed as a gateway to the Antarctic, The International Antarctic Center even has a husky cuddle zone, which is why people say it’s one of the finest museums in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you are not into that, you can just chill out with little blue penguins, take a simulated 4D cruise to the Antarctic, watch the ever famous Happy Feet in 4D – all on a huge cinemas sized screen or buckle up for an outdoor Hagglund ride filled with adrenaline.

The museum is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5.30 pm with ticket prices pricing $29 for children, $45 for students and $59 for adults.

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Museums are the perfect way of reminiscing the past or reliving them if you were not the part of the history. The great city of Christchurch is home to many of the world art and history and the trip doesn’t end here. Other few notables museums in Christchurch that you can check out are Ferrymead Heritage Park, Center of Contemporary Art, Mike Pero Motorcycle Museum, Thornycroft Torpedo Boat Museum, etc. However, if you are not a history fanatic your trip to New Zealand can still be raving cool!

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Category: museums, New Zealand

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