Timaru is located on the East Coast of the South Island and sits almost halfway between Christchurch and Dunedin. The city boast?s one of the largest man made harbours in the world. Caroline bay is a safe swimming and recreational beach surrounded... Show More
Tourist Information About Timaru
Timaru is located on the East Coast of the South Island and sits almost halfway between Christchurch and Dunedin. The city boast?s one of the largest man made harbours in the world. Caroline bay is a safe swimming and recreational beach surrounded by stunning coastal walk ways. The city was constructed on rolling hills created by lava flows from the extinct volcano, Mt Horrible which last erupted some 2 million years ago. There is much to see and do in this vibrant city. Visit the Timaru lighthouse built in 1878 and relocated to the Benvenue cliffs walkway in 2010. Marvel at the cities Edwardian and Victorian architecture. Enjoy the many walkways in the beautiful Centennial park. Relax in the botanical gardens where you will find an Aviary full of exotic and imported Birds.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Timaru
1. South Canterbury Museum
The South Canterbury Museum is a must-see in Timaru. It houses a diverse collection of intriguing artifacts ranging from fashion to fossils. Learn about the ecology, history, and culture of the South Canterbury region by listening to local stories. Visit the Heritage Theatre to see a local history film, browse the archives in the research section, and meander around the ever-changing assortment of exhibitions.
2. Evening Penguin Safari
You will find the calm beauty of Pohatu bay after a magnificent panoramic trip from the office in a 4WD minibus through the extinct volcano crater rim of Akaroa.
Once you've arrived at the bay, you'll go for a walk and talk around the colony to keep an eye on nesting places and ensure that our Little Penguins are doing well. You'll be able to view them up close and hear about their habits, as well as how our 30-year conservation efforts have kept the Flea Bay colony alive.
3. The Aigantighe Art Gallery
The wonderful Aigantighe Art Gallery houses foreign and local art collections. Aigantigne means "at home" in Gaelic and is pronounced "egg-and-tie." This is New Zealand's third-largest art gallery! It has a diverse collection of New Zealand, Pacific, Asian, and European art. Exhibits change often, and in the past have included living sculptures, vintage painting replica dress-ups, and an Art Car! Open-air artwork can also be seen at the Sculpture Garden.
4. Timaru Farmers Market
The Timaru Farmers Market is the greatest place to go on Saturday mornings. Pick up some fresh, local fruit, chat with the people, and get a taste of what a true Kiwi market is like. It's a terrific location to get gifts for friends or simply spoil yourself with preserves, cheeses, baked goods, and organic treats. Hot meals and beverages are also available.
5. Timaru Botanic Gardens
Timaru is home to a number of beautiful gardens and parks, including the excellent Timaru Botanic Gardens. An aviary, decorative ponds, a conservatory and fernery, a children's playground, and several flower and plant collections may be found in the grounds.
6. Caroline Bay
Caroline Bay is a sandy beach and park area in Timaru. In this lovely section of town, there's a viewpoint along a staircase, photo-worthy water features, and more. The Trevor Griffin's Rose Garden, with its geometric rose beds, is a lovely sight in the spring and summer. There's also a nice 45-minute stroll around the bay, which takes you along boardwalks.
7. Akaroa Lighthouse
The Akaroa Lighthouse provides a fantastic view of Akaroa that is also very accessible. This lighthouse is curiously located inside the port because it was preserved from being dismantled when it was no longer in operation by lighthouse enthusiasts. The Akaroa Lighthouse is a superb photo opportunity in and of itself, since it is placed at a fantastic vantage point. From the town center, the lighthouse is easily visible, so you can simply go visit it anytime!
8. Misty Peaks
Hiking is, of course, a free activity in Akaroa, and the Misty Peaks walk is another wonderful alternative. This 3-hour return hike takes you along the ridgeline of the Banks Peninsula, with views of Akaroa and surrounding bays. For as low as NZ$35 for four hours, you can rent a bike for this mountain biking track from the adventure center on Akaroa's waterfront.
9. Mt Isobel
This Forest path is a short walk appropriate for people of all ages and fitness levels that includes a variety of wooden sculptures that may be found around the forest. Keep an eye out for the wooden dog, tuatara, gigantic, orangutan, and other creatures! The Mt Isobel Track, a 5-hour return climb to the alpine summits with magnificent mountain landscapes, is a more strenuous option. The Fairy Door Track, located closer to town, is a must-see for families.
The Hanmer Forest and other treks at Hanmer Springs are also worth checking out.
10. The Te Ana Maori Rock Art Site
Join a personal guided tour with Te Ana Maori Rock Art for an authentic off-the-beaten-path experience and a unique glimpse into Maori heritage. The site is close outside of Timaru (it's self-drive, so you'll have to follow your guide in your own vehicle) and offers the opportunity to see old Maori art painted in caves.