Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites

Museums in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch City

Museums in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and was first settled by Māori about 1250. With European settlement it became a city by Royal Charter in 1856, making it the oldest established city in New Zealand. The new settlement was laid out in a grid pattern centred on Cathedral Square.

The city suffered a series of earthquakes between 2010 and 2012, during which hundreds of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage. Since then, 1,500 buildings in the city had been demolished, leading to an ongoing recovery and rebuilding project.

Christchurch has a long history of involvement in Antarctic exploration. Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton both used the port of Lyttelton as a departure point for their Antarctic expeditions. Christchurch International Airport serves as the major base for the New Zealand, Italian and United States Antarctic programs.

Below is a list of some of the leading Christchurch museums:


  • City:                                Christchurch
  • Māori Name:                Ōtautahi
  • Island:                            South Island, New Zealand
  • Settled by Māori          1250
  • Settled by Europeans 1848
  • Population:                   400,000
  • Country:                         New Zealand

Christchurch Map


“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” Maori Proverb



Photo Credit: By Photographer: P. Stalder (English user page) / P. Stalder (deutsche Benutzerseite) (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons