International Antarctic Centre

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International Antarctic Centre
GenreScientific research and public displays
Founded28 September 1990
New Zealand
Area served
Christchurch, Antarctica
ServicesSupporting Antarctic scientific programmes and entertaining tourists (both domestic and international)
OwnerReal Journeys
WebsiteInternational Antarctic Centre

The International Antarctic Centre is located in the suburb of Harewood, Christchurch, New Zealand, close to Christchurch International Airport. It is one of the major tourist attractions of the city.


The centre has its roots in the U.S. Antarctic Program

The Centre is home to the New Zealand, United States and Italian Antarctic Programmes and comprises administration offices, warehousing, an American/New Zealand clothing store, a post office and travel agency, the Antarctic Passenger Terminal and the Visitor Centre, now called 'The Antarctic Attraction'.

It is for this last item that the centre is best known, as it forms a significant tourist attraction. 'The Antarctic Attraction' consists of Antarctic exhibits, a café, and bar. The centre operates a Hagglund Ride around the centre's land. This is aimed mainly at children, however is an educational tool for all ages, to display the mobility of the Hagglund. The Hagglund is an Antarctic Vehicle that is still in operation. Among other attractions, there is an Antarctic snow storm room, an audiovisual display, and little blue penguins at the NZ Penguin Encounter. The centre is set up for taking in penguins from the wild that are in need of help, with one of those penguins nicknamed 'Morgan' getting media attention for refusing to swim.[1]


On 24 September 2009, at the prestigious Canterbury Champion Awards Dinner, it was announced that the International Antarctic Centre had been judged the overall winner in the Champion Host – medium, large enterprise category. The International Antarctic Centre was recognised as the Champion Host Winner and shared the finalist category along with Whale Watch Kaikoura and Canterbury Museum.[2]


The International Antarctic Centre was bought by tourism company Real Journeys in October 2015 from Christchurch Airport.[3][4]


  1. ^ Carville, Olivia (29 June 2011). "Reluctant penguin finally takes the plunge". The Press. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Antarctic Centre and Buskers Festival win Champion Canterbury Awards". ChristchurchNZ. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009.
  3. ^ Jamieson, Debbie (13 February 2020). "Chief executive and top manager leave Queenstown tourism company Wayfare". Stuff. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  4. ^ Jamieson, Debbie (16 October 2015). "Queenstown tourism company buys Christchurch's International Antarctic Centre". Stuff. Retrieved 14 February 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°29′19″S 172°32′49″E / 43.48861°S 172.54694°E / -43.48861; 172.54694