Discover Canterbury's Treasures

Learn about the natural history of Canterbury, the people who have made their homes here and our connection to Antarctica.

"... our friendly and capable guide Kate ...  knows a lot about New Zealand history, wildlife, flora and the Maori culture. It was a very entertaining guided tour and we enjoyed every minute. Thank you Kate!" (TripAdvisor Review)

Join a one-hour tour of Canterbury Museum’s galleries with our Visitor Host guides. Hear Canterbury’s stories and see highlights of the vast collection that we care for.

You’ll discover the now extinct moa, a large flightless bird that roamed our forests and plains hundreds of years ago and learn more about Canterbury’s first people. Our guides will show you beautiful Māori taonga (treasures) crafted from bone, wood, flax, feathers and pounamu (greenstone). You’ll hear stories of early European settlers and see the treasures they brought with them.

Canterbury has been a major gateway to Antarctica for more than 100 years. You will be guided through stories from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and discovery and see artefacts from the journeys of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen.

At the end of the tour explore more of the Museum. See one of our temporary exhibitions, visit the world-famous Pāua Shell House, discover our native birds and see highlights of our Asian Arts collection.

Daily Tours at 11.00 am and 2.00 pm

Duration: One hour

Price: Pay what you wish

To join a tour register here or go to the Museum foyer at least 10 minutes before the tour is due to start

Online bookings close one hour before the tour starts

Register online

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