The Arts Centre
The former university has been a part of city life for more than 135 years and its unique Gothic Revival buildings are coming back to life following a remarkable post-earthquake restoration.
The Arts Centre is the largest collection of Category 1 heritage buildings in the country, providing a stunning backdrop like no other in New Zealand.
More than half the site is now open to the public, with the meticulously restored buildings cleverly tailored for a 21st century community.
The Arts Centre’s Great Hall is open daily to the public for no charge, as are the beautifully restored North and South Quadrangles. Market Square is surrounded by artisan food outlets meaning you can grab a bite to eat before sitting to enjoy the surroundings.
A charity held in trust for the people of Canterbury and its visitors, the Arts Centre is committed to supporting and fostering the arts, culture, education and creativity. This means you’ll often encounter events and performances during your visit.
Many of Canterbury’s most famous academics began their studies at the site, including Ernest, Lord Rutherford whose science led to the splitting of the atom. Rutherford’s Den at the Arts Centre is an interactive science museum dedicated to his memory, offering the chance to enjoy hands-on activities in the actual rooms where Rutherford studied.