Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre


Tuesday10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Wednesday10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Thursday10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Friday10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Saturday10:00 am – 3:00 pm.


2 George Street, Timaru

0800 468 3262

Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre in Timaru offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience and learn about the ancient Māori practice of rock art. A special feature of the Aoraki region, rock art has been found in multiple locations on the South Island, with the highest density of sites found in the Aoraki region of South Canterbury. 

As soon as you enter Te Ana, you’ll get the sense that you are in an exceptional place. You will be drawn into the centre by the sound of the kāranga, then retrace the steps of the local Ngāi Tahu iwi (the Māori tribe of the South Island) on their mahika kai (seasonal resource gathering) journeys.  Explore the practise of rock drawing and learn about the stories and legends passed down through generations of Rapuwai, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha and Ngāi Tahu iwi. Te Ana holds one of the most significant rock art collections in the country, housing eight pieces of ancient Māori rock art removed from sites more than a century ago.

The centre is created to evoke the limestone caves and overhangs where the rock art was created, with soft lighting and rock art designs decorating undulating rock walls. Filled with interactive information, wandering through Te Ana transports you back in time and allows you to appreciate the rich history and culture of Aotearoa’s indigenous people.

To get the most out of your visit, join a local Ngāi Tahu guide to explore all that Te Ana has to offer. Experience the Cave of the Taniwha, where rock art designs appear stroke by stroke as if being painted as you watch; hold an ancient moa bone; or make your own works of art at the rock art rubbing table. 

To deepen your knowledge of Māori rock art and culture, take a site tour to a group of nationally significant rock art sites at Ōpihi, and explore Aotearoa's original art galleries with a guide descended from the people that created the art.  

A non-profit organisation, Te Ana works as katiaki (guardian) of rock art in the South Island on behalf of Ngāi Tahu. All the revenue earned from visitors to the centre and site tours is used to protect and revitalize the special taonga (treasure).

Words by Petra Nyman & Photography by Nancy Zhou

Information not correct? Report an error


2 George Street, Timaru

Nearby Places

The Oxford

A close up of the halloumi salad at The Oxford restaurant in Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru Editor's Pick
Restaurants key icon.

Ask a Timaru local where to eat in town and chances are they will point you in the direction of The Oxford.

Hector Black's

Four people sitting on couches around in a circle inside the bar at Hector Black's in Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru Editor's Pick
Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

If a unique, cosy atmosphere, regular live music and a great selection of beverages sound like your kind of bar, then Hector Black’s is a must-visit.

Arthur Street Kitchen

Couple sat at a table drinking coffee at Arthur St Kitchen, South Canterbury.
Place South Canterbury Timaru Editor's Pick
Cafes key icon.

Renowned for its delicious breakfast and lunch menu, plus house-made baking and hearty salads, Arthur Street Kitchen takes pride in producing as much as possible on their premises.

Black & Co

Taxidermy chicken at Black & Co, Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru
Fashion key icon.

Black & Co is located in the south end of Timaru’s CBD and focuses on quality fashion pieces for men and women, luxurious homewares and unique jewellery, the store is a must-visit.

Similar Places

York St Gallery of Fine Art

Art on the walls and sculptures on the floor inside York Street Gallery in Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru

Creatives of Canterbury rejoice—York Street Gallery of Fine Art in Timaru is here to satisfy your art cravings.

Susan Badcock Gallery & The Mailroom

Artwork and sculpture at Susan Badcock Gallery,  Geraldine.
Place South Canterbury Geraldine Editor's Pick

Explore this unconventional gallery space where contemporary artworks by Susan Badcock and the wider creative Badcock family are showcased alongside other New Zealand artists.

77 Art + Living

Art on display on a brick wall and a colourful chair on a wooden floor at 77 Art + Living in Fairlie.
Place South Canterbury Fairlie

Fairlie might not be the first town that comes to mind when thinking of wonderful independent galleries across the motu, but 77 Art + Living is here to change that.

Petronella's Gallery and Bookstore

Woman looking at books at Petronella's Gallery and Bookstore, Tekapo.
Place South Canterbury Lake Tekapo
Galleries and museum key icon.

Lake Tekapo’s only independent bookstore, Petronella’s Gallery and Bookstore, offers a sanctuary for both book and art lovers.