Free Family Fun

Having a great family day out in Timaru doesn't have to cost a lot, or anything for that matter.....

WuHoo Timaru

Get the family out and about with these epic free activities, organised by the volunteers at  Wuhoo Timaru.

WuHoo Scavenger Hunts: Head to the Timaru Information Centre to pick up the scavenger map for the Timaru Botanic Gardens. This is a new free initiative to get kids away from their screens and out into nature.

Wuhoo Sculpture Hunt:  Head to the amazing Aigantighe Art Gallery to pick up this map, that takes you around Timaru City's sculptures.

Head to the Wuhoo Timaru website to find out more and be inspired to get out into nature and have fun!  The South Canterbury Museum also has copies of the WuHoo maps and colourful fact sheets.

Visit the South Canterbury Museum

A fantastic place for kids to explore!  Fascinating exhibits all year round.  Open drawers and peek inside, play retro spacies, from fossils to fashion and everything in between.

School holidays are always a fun time with lots of extra activities. Plus you can join the Explorers Club for free, receive a passport that gets stamped each time you visit.  Get five stamps and get a prize.

We have no less than ten museums to visit in Timaru District, if fun, history and heritage are your thing!

Hang out at Caroline Bay

Head to the ocean and walk the shoreline of Caroline Bay – voted New Zealand’s fourth best beach by AA Travellers.

The sheltered, sandy beach is a great spot any time of the day. If you’ve got kids, you might want to make a detour to the playground. It’s a great place to check out public artworks.

If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to look over the sea at the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’ll take your breath away..

Cycle Centennial Park

You might want to check out one of Timaru’s many cycle tracks.

You can hire a bike locally from The Cyclery if you haven’t got your own set of wheels. Or grab your bike and head to Centennial Park on Otipua Road. It’ll take five minutes in the car from the CBD, or about 15 minutes to bike there.

There are heaps of tracks there, for all ages and abilities, from absolute beginner to challenging single tracks. You can pretty much spend all day there trying out the different tracks.

Also, our coastal tracks are another favourite. There's approximately 15km of flat scenic track from Waimataitai past Jacks Point lighthouse.

Aigantighe Art Gallery

It’s probably time to head indoors after all that outdoor activity. The Aigantighe Art Gallery is a great place to check out.

Located on Wai-Iti Road, the gallery is home to an impressive public art collection. There’s always plenty on for the kids. Its park-like grounds are great for a wander among sculpture.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm, weekends 12 – 4pm.

Visit the kororā/little  penguins

These gorgeous little locals love Caroline Bay as much as everyone else.  They nest at Caroline Bay between October - March.  You might be able to see them all year round, but it differs from season to season.  If you do want to visit, head to Marine Parade on dusk or after dark.

Please give the Korora space, admire them from a safe distance.  We love our penguins!

Explore the rock pools at Waitarakao Washdyke Lagoon

Looking in rockpools

Waitarakao Washdyke Lagoon is an amazing place to explore.

Drive down Bridge Rd and park after the railway underpass bridge.  Cross the stile and follow a track to the right and you'll come across the rock pools.  You'll find crabs, limpets, sea snails and other little creatures.

These are among the best rock pools on the east coast of the South Island.  There is a window of two hours either side of low tide when this area is uncovered before the sea hides this area from view.  Check out the latest information on tides here.

Please be careful, the brown clay at the start of the rocky part is extremely slippery, please go around this area.

Spend the day at Peel Forest

Peel Forest Big Tree

Spend the day at Peel Forest, walking the amazing tracks.  You can climb little Mount Peel, or wander through the native bush tracks.  Climb a mountain and be back by lunchtime, sounds like an epic school holiday activity!

While your out that way try geocaching and hunt for Geraldine Rocks!