Standing proud on the edge of The Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum is at the heart of the city and has been breathing life into our past, present and future for over 150 years. Home to a mammoth 2.3 million-object collection, regularly changing special exhibitions, children’s area Discovery, a top floor café with garden views and a quality store, there is always something new to discover here.
While the focus of the museum is on natural history and Canterbury itself, with permanent displays from early Māori settlements to the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and the impressive Bird Hall, there is much more to it than that. Edgy and interesting exhibitions from street art to photography exhibitions and art installations find their place alongside Canterbury’s human and natural history.
The Museum stages around ten special exhibitions staged each year and also curates small displays that are sent out to libraries across Canterbury. For the digital enthusiast, there’s the possibility to glimpse more of the collection on the museum’s website.
Make sure to take note of Canterbury Museum’s historic buildings when you visit – they are some of the oldest standing buildings in Christchurch and provide a home for one of the city’s longest-serving institutions. With free entry (donations are appreciated) it’s easy to pop in to view any of the special exhibitions or make a day of it and explore all that the museum has to offer. Bring a friend, bring the kids or take time for yourself and discover something new about your city at our local museum.
Free entry (donations appreciated); Discovery $2 per person, under 3 years free.
Words by Petra Nyman & Photography by Naomi Haussmann
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