Enjoy a 90-minute guided walking tour of The Arts Centre.
Discover the rich history of this place. Hear the inside story about eccentric personalities and outrageous escapades. Go behind-the-scenes through Rutherford’s Den and up the Observatory Tower. Entertaining and informative, this tour will give you a deep appreciation of the past, present and future of Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre.
The tour starts at the Clock Tower (next to Bunsen cafe) and firstly heads through Rutherford’s Den, where Ernest Rutherford studied while at Canterbury College. Lord Rutherford won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1908 and is considered the father of nuclear physics. You will explore an interactive exhibition and experience the beautifully restored Victorian-era lecture theatre.
From Rutherford’s Den, your tour threads its way through Gothic Revival buildings to the Observatory Tower, complete with the original Townsend Teece antique telescope that is once again in use by the University of Canterbury. Climb the spiral staircase for a great view.
There are many more sites of interest along the way. Hear about academic exploits, student pranks, and rumours of ghosts. Consider what the future holds in the arts and health technology.
Your tour completes a full circuit of The Arts Centre and ends at the Great Hall where we admire the stained-glass memorial window.
Head Guide | Vicki Bretherton
Head guide Vicki comes from a tourism and hospitality background and enjoys the opportunity to share our iconic Arts Centre with visitors from all backgrounds. Vicki’s previous role as General Manager of the on-site Observatory Hotel has meant she shares the passion for the Centre with many other people.