Suitable for all ages
Like all activities where there’s a significant outlay for entrance, some visitors will always decide that it’s over priced for what it is. However, for most families visiting the Antarctic Centre, the general consensus is that it’s a great half (or longer) day out. And there are lots of tips to make a visit here cheaper than the advertised prices (see under ‘price’ for top tips).
Experiences that come particularly recommended: Penguin feeding time. Daily at 10.30am & 3.30pm. The 2 level penguin enclosure can house up to 26 Blue penguins, all of which have been rescued from the wild due to disabilities or injuries. View the feeding session from outside or go downstairs to see the penguins dive for the fish underwater.
The snow storm experience. A wind chill machine lowers the temperature to feel like -18 degrees. Warm jackets and overshoes are provided but not recommended for those wearing jandals or sandals.
A Haaglund ride. This all terrain, amphibious Antarctic vehicle simulates a real scientists ride with all the bumps, hills and splashes. Only for those aged 2 years+. Those aged under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
The Antarctic Centre is near the airport (within walking distance) and those flying in or out sometimes visit on departure/arrival day. For those doing this, you should allow at least 2 hours and even up to 4 hours for your visit, to take in everything. There are lockers available able to take an average sized suitcase for $2.50 up to 3 hours .
There’s an onsite cafe but if you want to bring your own food, you can eat it outside the building.
Related tagsCanterbury, Christchurch, Rainy-day
Tel: 03 357 0519
Address: 38 Orchard Road (between Memorial Ave and Wairakei Rd) Christchurch Airport.
Free onsite parking. There’s also a free shuttle bus (the Penguin Express) that operates to/from the CBD. Check the website for departure points and times.
Open daily 9am – 5.30pm including Christmas Day. Various experiences and feeding times throughout the day – check the website or ask at the front desk on arrival for times.
Price: pay at the door Adults $59, Kids (5-15yrs) $29, Family Pass (2A+3K) $149. Cheaper Xpress Pass available for those on a tight time frame – see website for prices. The Xpress Pass does NOT include rides on the Haaglund or 4D cinema experience. TOP TIP: All tickets are cheaper if you buy them online – you can even do this just from outside the centre! Also, if you are a resident of Canterbury, take photo ID and proof of address to receive 50% off or even FREE entry if you’re taking a full paying non Canterbury visitor! You can also check here to see if there’s a cheaper GrabOne voucher available for your visit or look here to see if Bookme has a better discounted price
Note that you can leave and return within the same day that your pass is valid for.
Free phone number: 0508 736 4846