Rutherford’s Den


Today's Hours 10.00AM - 5.00PM
  • Monday 10.00AM – 5.00PM
  • Tuesday 10.00AM – 5.00PM
  • Wednesday 10.00AM – 5.00PM
  • Thursday 10.00AM – 5.00PM
  • Friday 10.00AM – 5.00PM
  • Saturday 10.00AM – 5.00PM
  • Sunday 10.00AM – 5.00PM

Clock Tower, Worcester Boulevard


Follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest scientists of all time, New Zealander Ernest, Lord Rutherford.

Rutherford’s Den is more than a museum. It’s a whole world of science, history, discovery and wonder brought to life through exciting multi-sensory displays and hands-on experiences set in a stunning heritage building.

Housed in the Clock Tower, the den is home to the actual rooms where Rutherford, the father of nuclear physics, studied while a student at Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury), including a restored Victorian lecture theatre.

Television, radio, sonar and telephones – these are just some of the great inventions we enjoy today thanks to the scientific discoveries Rutherford and his peers made.

Admission fees

Entry costs are as follows, and all proceeds go towards the ongoing restoration of The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora.

$10.00 for adults

$5.00 for children aged 5 to 17, students with valid student ID and seniors aged 65 plus; and preschoolers are free.

$20.00 for a family (two adults with up to four children)

For those with reduced mobility, entry is free as wheelchair access is limited to the ground floor space.  

Tickets can be purchased from the den shop, and will be available online soon.

Discounts are available for groups of more than 10 people. Email den staff to enquire. 

Annual passes

Visit Rutherford’s Den as much as you’d like! Annual passes can be bought from the den shop, and prices are as follows.

$25.00 for adults

$8.00 for children aged 5 to 17, students with valid ID, and seniors aged 65 plus.

$60 for a family annual pass for two adults with up to four children.

Did you know?

  • The den is also home to Ministry of Education-supported interactive and stimulating education programmes available for students from years 1 to 13. Find out more here.
  • The beautifully restored Rutherford’s Den Victorian lecture theatre is available to hire for your next event. Find out more here.

Location map

Clock Tower,
Worcester Boulevard

Market Square South Quad North Quad Registry Student Union The Gym Engineering Common Room Library Biology, Observatory and Physics Chemistry School of Art West Lecture Classics Rutherford's Den Clock Tower Boy's High Workshop Great Hall