International Antarctic Centre

International Antarctic Centre

International Antarctic Centre
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
It's the ultimate Antarctic adventure! Experience the dramatic seasonal lighting in the four seasons of Antarctica show where it 'snows' every 6 minutes. Venture out on to 'the ice' from Scott Base to play in 'Antarctica' the snow & ice experience and survive an Antarctic storm! How long can you hold your hand in the icy Antarctic water? Hang out with Little Blue Penguins, buckle up for the famously exciting Hagglund ride and take an awesome simulated 4D Antarctic cruise. It's the closest you'll get to Antarctica without mounting your own expedition!
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Admission tickets
from AU$55.83
All you need to step foot in the door.
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  • Mxhm E
    Sydney, Australia65 contributions
    Fun
    Had a lot of fun watching the penguin feeding, the 4D cinema. Going on the hagglun ride on various obstacle courses was really fun too! Best part was the cold room that simulates Antarctica’s wind storm. Warm jackets included for the cold room! Photos from the centre sent to email for free!
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 December 2022
  • Beryl
    12 contributions
    Entertaining and educational!
    Arrived at 2.30pm slot using Bookme and there were no issues. surely worth a visit, the centre has some attractions that you definitely can’t miss during your time here - huggland ride (superrrr fun!), watch a penguin feeding session, pet the huskies, 4D experience and facing an Antarctic storm (simulated but coldd, puffer jackets and shoe cover provided!). It was good fun here!
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled with friends
    Written 29 December 2022
  • Jeffry b
    Essendon, Australia13,865 contributions
    Lots of things to see and do
    The headquarters for international Antarctic expeditions is just outside of Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand's Southern Island. The Antarctic Centre is open for visitors, and it has a whole range of things to see and do. The Little Blue Penguins are cute to watch, as they waddle along. Visitors will make an expedition on the Hagglund all-terrain vehicles. There's more than enough to keep everyone entertained.
    We appreciate this 5-star review. See you next time!
    Written 10 January 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2023
    Written 31 December 2022
  • Bronwyn B
    Melbourne, Australia19 contributions
    International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch NZ
    We bought the General Admission + Penguin Backstage Pass. The staff were so friendly and interested in talking about all the activities, and made sure we got involved in everything that was on offer - for example, the storm room and the Hagglund ride. We also got to pat some huskis and the films were amazing - as were the penguins. We spent a few hours looking at all the exhibits. It's only about a $20 uber ride from the CBD but a bus rid is only $2.10 each way. Great please for kids and adults.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 1 January 2023
  • Kait
    42 contributions
    Great to visit if staying near the airport
    Staying near the airport for a couple of days and decided to visit. We felt the price of admission was at the high end for this type of family activity. We enjoyed the penguins and stayed for the talk which was well done. The huskies were beautiful but felt they could be accommodated in a more natural setting. The storm zone, movies were good. There is a lot of reading and information - and a few hands on activities for children to keep busy while the adults read. We went on the outdoor field trip ride at the end of our visit. This was lots of fun.
    Visited October 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 3 January 2023
  • janinelwood
    Perth, Australia61 contributions
    A must do attraction
    This was a great experience but we were a little rushed as the tour guide gave us a time limit. To see & read everything & see the penguins being fed, the husky dogs & experience the snow storm make sure you have a minimum of 2.5hrs. Cafe was average & gift store was reasonably priced with a good little selection of goodies. It’s a must do attraction
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 January 2023
  • Sassygg
    Melbourne, Australia50 contributions
    Nice but could do with sone improvements
    There’s a lot of good stuff here. We loved meeting the huskies and owner, who is also a chance to interact with a local Maori person. Things that could be better- the penguin enclosure has faded fake plants, not a good look. Note the penguins are local, not Antarctic, and you can see these better in the wild (or Melbourne Zoo). The fixed displays are a bit run down in places, eg a missing whale. Finally the cost is higher than any similar places, you would expect all the details were right (the fake plants being the worst offence here)
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 January 2023
  • Karen B
    26 contributions
    Fun, interactive experiences
    As residents of the USA, this was the closest we've ever been to Antarctica. We paid a little bit extra to take part in the behind-the-scenes penguin tour. We learned a lot from the exhibits and enjoyed our bouncy ride in the Hagglund and our time in the Snow Dome. Our penguin guide was awesome, and we would recommend adding that experience to your ticket. Plus, we got to pet huskies!
    Visited January 2023
    Written 1 February 2023
  • Laryssa W
    New Zealand31 contributions
    Great place to experience Antarctica!
    Great place to get an idea about what it is like to work and live in Antarctica as well as history of the early explorers. Interactive exhibits. Recommend taking a Huggland ride. Our driver was fabulous! Allow at least 2 hours especially if you want to do all the interactive exhibits (snow dogs, snow storm etc).
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 February 2023
  • Terrie L
    Los Angeles, California46 contributions
    Great fun and educational
    I love seeing the penguins. I suggest you get the VIP ticket and go behind the scenes so you can learn more about them and see the rescue. Penguin up close. It was very educational. I know what it feels like to be in Antarctica when you go in the room where they blow the freezing cold air on you. Good thing they give you a jacket this staff is excellent. You will really learn a lot and have fun doing it. Great place to take kids.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 28 February 2023
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4.5
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James L
Los Angeles, CA188 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
I hope to one day go to Antarctica, but until then a visit to the IAC will have to do. And it was just plain fun and educational. It might be a bit more child-centric but I loved going into the "Antarctic" room for the feel of being in the real Antarctic and the film about Antarctic research and climate change was truly thought-provoking. The penguin exhibit was a bit disappointing, but I knew I was going to have a chance to see them in the wild later in my trip.
Written 1 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angela M
7 contributions
Nov. 2023 • Couples
Fun facility with many interactive experiences. We did the Hagglund ride which was short but entertaining. It's an off-roading experience on a course behind the building. There's also a room with a simulated blizzard. They provide cold weather gear for that. There are interesting exhibits about the Antarctic station and we saw some penguins. The cafe has decent food. It is an easy walk from the airport and they will store your luggage. We went straight from the airport before heading into town and it worked out fine.
Written 30 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad F
3 contributions
Nov. 2023 • Friends
The staff were very helpful and ensured we knew what was going on and when during our visit. Some of the attractions are at specific times so they helped keep us in the loop. The front desk staff appeared to do double duty covering the gift shop as well. Plan to spend 1-2 hours here at least. Very educational.
Written 26 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Triffid195
17 contributions
Excellent place, highly recommended for everyone!
We visited from a cruise ship and chose the Antarctic adventure because other cruisers recommended it- from the hagglund ride to the husky lecture and penguins, the kids loved it.
The food is reasonably priced and nice, staff couldn’t be more enthusiastic and friendly. The polar storm experience is amazing, a real adventure.
One tip- buy a bus ticket from the bus interchange because a taxi costs $45 each way.
The man delivering the history of the South Pole huskies was so passionate it moves you to tears to hear about the lack of recognition even in this exhibition after their immense contribution to the discovery of the South Pole.
Written 21 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the excellent review! We're delighted to hear that your Antarctic adventure, from the Hagglund ride to the husky lecture and penguins, was a hit with the kids. It's heartening to know our staff's enthusiasm and friendliness added to your experience. We appreciate your tip on the bus ticket and hope to welcome you back for more memorable experiences in the future!
Written 26 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Katrina R
Melbourne, Australia42 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Family
This was surprisingly amazing! We decided to go at the last moment due to the weather not being great. Easy parking for the campervan, walked in and got tickets immediately. Was told that penguin feeding was beginning in 5 minutes, went and saw that for a bit (was more entertaining for younger children I think), loved the 3D movie experience, went straight into the snowstorm room which was fun and freezing, then straight out to hear/ see/ pat the gorgeous huskies and then walk through the cinema display and ended with a fun and rocky ride on the snow machine.
Written 7 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thrilled to hear you had an amazing time at the International Antarctic Centre! Your spontaneous visit, the penguin feeding, 3D movie experience, snowstorm room, huskies, and the adventurous snow machine ride sound like a fantastic adventure. Thanks for sharing your positive experience, and we hope to welcome you back for more icy fun in the future!
Written 26 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pippa H
London, UK76 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
I love Antarctica and think the subject is fascinating but was quite disappointed with my visit to the International Antarctic Centre. While there was a lot of information in the centre it was poorly organised, without guiding you clearly through the different elements (polar exploration, biodiversity, conservation), instead seeming to just have boards interspersed randomly, and lacking clear information so you get lost, e.g. who each explorer was and what their lives entailed. The storm room is pretty cool and fun, but again would be good to have more information about how the explorers/scientists dealt with the cold. I was also sad about how dated much of the more interactive elements were - the 4D experience and many of the videos felt like they were from 2000. The penguins and huskys were really cute, and the video at the end about conservation was interesting, but tbh would probably skip this if you have limited time in Christchurch.
Written 7 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We appreciate your feedback on your visit to the International Antarctic Centre. We're sorry to hear about your disappointment with the organisation and information presentation. Your insights are valuable, and we'll use them to enhance the visitor experience, ensuring a more seamless journey through the different elements. Thank you for your honesty, and we hope to have the opportunity to provide a more satisfying visit in the future.
Written 26 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Radarz
Melbourne, Australia413 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
We have seen this place on prior visits to NZ but never had the time to visit. On the day we visited we had planned on doing something else but it was raining so as this was an indoor activity, we used that excuse to make the effort to visit.
We are so glad we did as the experience was fantastic. It started as soon as we entered the door as the discount for seniors was $NZ20 each which is the best discount we have ever received. This was followed by a ride in the Haggland around the specially designed track. Our driver was fantastic with not only providing valuable information about the vehicle, but did it with a sense of humour as well. The ride was not something we expected so it was an excellent start to our day.
After venturing inside we saw huskies, experienced a snow storm, fed the penguins and experience a 4D movie as well with simulations of being pooped on by seagulls. Excellent.
We were so glad it was raining as if it wasn't we probably would not have made the effort to go.
Well done to all staff and exhibiters.
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing your fantastic experience at the International Antarctic Centre! We're thrilled you decided to visit, especially on a rainy day. The Haggland ride, huskies, snowstorm, penguins, and 4D movie are all highlights we're proud of. Kudos to our staff and exhibitors! We hope to welcome you back for more icy adventures in the future.
Written 26 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pumpkin20
Bathurst, Australia350 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
Easy to find with heaps of parking. So much to see & do! Heaps of interesting exhibits.The 3D theatre was fun, plenty of oohs, ash’s & laughter. Seeing & being able to pat Husky dogs was so special, they were so placid, their owner/handler was so generous with his time & information. The visit in the snow room was a bit of fun, cold & windy. Watching the little penguins being fed & the keeper presentation was great fun & informative. We had a great time & would have to say it’s a don’t miss activity! Food at the cafe was good & not over priced. All the staff were very friendly.
Written 20 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're delighted to hear that you had an enjoyable visit. We appreciate your positive feedback about the food at the cafe and the friendly staff. It's fantastic to know that you had such a memorable and informative experience.
Written 26 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Scott G
Washington DC, DC408 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
This place gives you an experience! Very glad we went there. In addition to a movie that really pulls you in, there is a good ride in an Antarctic vehicle, live penguins, and a room to experience Antarctic weather. Anyone interested in Antarctica and kids alike will love it.
Written 18 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your five-star review! We're thrilled you had an enjoyable day with us.
Written 26 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joyman L
Perth, Australia1,513 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
Visited in May 2023

Located near the Christchurch airport (not quite walking distance if you have luggage), the Center has a lot of parking spaces including for campervans.

The Center starts off with a big dark room with projected screens to capture the immensity of the Antarctic with projections from dawn to dusk at Scott Base to the frequent snowstorms on the continent and the majesty of the wild inhabitants under the surface and above. The Storm dome which simulates the snowstorms in Antarctica of 18'C winds is a cool feature. Jackets are provided prior to going in and the simulation kicks off every hour or so.

There is a huge gallery of that follows as well as the husky interaction corner where one can get up close and pat the hard-working dogs.

Also part of the entry ticket is the 4D theatre of an ice voyage which you can get a little wet. The theatre do run on a schedule so come back to the queue when its close to session time. In addition there is also a penguin rescue and discovery section.

Overall the centre is great for all ages and it has a wealth of information regarding the continent as well as the bases that are located there. There is a cafe and gift shop at the exit back to the entrance foyer where the toilets are located. Definitely pram and wheelchair friendly where ramps are present near any stairs inside.
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your detailed review of the International Antarctic Centre. We're thrilled to know that you had such an informative and enjoyable visit, and we can't wait to welcome you back for more Antarctic adventures in the future!
Written 26 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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International Antarctic Centre: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about International Antarctic Centre

International Antarctic Centre admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost AU$56.08, while a popular guided tour starts around AU$161.59 per person.



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