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International Antarctic Centre Christchurch - enInternational Antarctic Centre Christchurch - zh-hans
Our Experiences
General Information

About Us

Experience the wonder and magic of Antarctica without leaving Christchurch. Located on the International Antarctic Programmes working campus at Christchurch Airport, the centre is one of New Zealand’s best tourist attractions and offers visitors of all ages an interactive, tactile, fun and exciting adventure.
Experience real snow and ice, survive an indoor Antarctic Storm, learn about life at Scott Base, and hang out with Little Blue Penguins! There’s also the famously exciting Hägglund ride, an
awesome simulated 4D cruise, Happy Feet 4D, plus heaps more!

Our History

In 1990 Christchurch International Airport Ltd. wanted to create a visitor centre showing people why the airport is so important for Antarctic scientific programmes. They commissioned Tim Hobson, an Australian now living in New Zealand, who had spent a lot of time in Antarctica, to create a visitor attraction. The airport wanted people to understand that Christchurch is a Gateway to Antarctica. Gateway means that lots of different organisations leave from Christchurch International Airport to travel to Antarctica. They contracted Warren Mahoney to design the building.

The Antarctic Attraction was built on a site where there were already other Antarctic programmes operating. It opened in 1992 and has won lots of awards for being a successful tourist site in Christchurch and Canterbury.


Antarctica is unique, a place of extremes… Virtually uninhabited, and classified as a desert, this awesome landscape is the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth. It’s a hostile environment that’s incredibly dangerous, yet still radiates a magical feeling across its vast wilderness of white.
More than 98% of Antarctica’s landmass is covered in ice, secrets kept within the ice hold the key to understanding the world’s environmental changes and impact on our ecosystems.
This intriguing wilderness is also home to enchanting penguins, seals and wildlife and features spectacular seasonal light displays (auroras), stunning glaciers, ice formations and
pressure ridges – all still as interesting today as it was to the first great Antarctic explorers.
Antarctica is quite simply one of the world's most amazing places.