Te Ana Ngai Tahu Rock Art Centre
Long known for its rolling hills, stunning mountain views and relaxed pace of life, the Aoraki South Canterbury NZ region hides a lesser known secret of enormous cultural and historical significance. Ancient limestone caves and overhanging rock shelves have formed hundreds of natural art galleries. A large number of New Zealand’s remaining ancient Maori Rock Art sites (approximately 300 sites) lie within a 70km radius of Timaru, Aoraki South Canterbury.
Opened in December 2010 the Te Ana Ngai Tahu Rock Art Centre, based within the Timaru Visitor Centre, has become an interpretive cultural centre of international significance.
The Te Ana Ngai Tahu Rock Art Centre provides accessible, meaningful and authentic cultural interpretation for some of New Zealand's most significant examples of Maori rock art. Visitors to the centre follows the same paths as the people who created the rock art - a journey through time, seasons, earthly and spiritual worlds.
- A rare, personal insight into the region’s rich Maori cultural heritage and mythology.
- An educational, “virtual” rock art experience providing insight into Ngai Tahu culture and heritage.
- Manawhenua stories told by manawhenua (local Ngai Tahu people).
- A centre designed to directly contribute to the protection and management of rock art sites for future generations.
- High quality, authentic Ngai Tahu merchandise.
- Tours to rock art sites led by Ngai Tahu guides.
Public Rock Art Sites
While there are a small number of publicy accessible rock art sites around South Canterbury, most are on private land with access arranged via a Maori Rock Art Tour organised through the Timaru or Geraldine Visitor Centres. Access to public sites can vary according to farming seasons, weather or geo-technical conditions. Always check with staff at either the Timaru or Geraldine Visitor Centres prior to travelling to any public Maori Rock Art sites.
For more South Canterbury information, contact our Timaru Visitor Centre.
For a full selection of South Canterbury NZ accommodation options, click here.
To view other Central South Island Regional Highlights click here.