Meet me in the middle

Timaru is centrally located on the East Coast of Te Waipounamu. It's the perfect urban base to meet up with friends and whānau from across the South Island.

There are also direct flights from Wellington to Timaru daily for our North Island mates.

Book in a seaside escape with great shopping, fantastic eateries, and loads of scenic walking tracks - minus the big crowds - in Timaru.

We love lists, so here are 4 reasons to get the gang together and meet halfway in Timaru.

1. Outstanding food

There are two main dining hubs in Timaru; The Bay Hill and the Landing Services Building area.

The Bay Hill looks out over the Caroline Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Head here for wining and dining, sunset drinks,  people watching, and coffees with a view, before or after a coastal walk.

The historic Landing Services Building is home to the Street Food Kitchen, The Speights Alehouse (fantastic courtyard), the Timaru Information Centre and Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre.  In the general area you'll find fantastic eateries that cover most cuisine styles from vegan to steak-house, take-away to fine dining.

Local produce is featured heavily at eateries, and if you see Ship Hop Beer on tap we recommend trying it.

2. Coastal walks

A favourite walk with locals, given its coastal views and proximity to the Bay Hill eateries and the CBD, is the Dashing Rocks walk.

You set off from Caroline Bay, our beautiful beach reserve right in Timaru City.

The walk takes approximately an hour and will lead you around cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, past the site of historic shipwrecks, Blackett's Lighthouse, and fascinating basalt rock formations - aka 2 million year old lava from Mt Horrible.

There are lots of other walks in Timaru, and throughout the District, to tick off while you're in the area.

3. Wellness and relaxation

After all the outstanding food, sea air and coastal walks we recommend taking some time to sit back and relax.

Whether you're after a massage, a facial, new nails, or even a minimally invasive surgery technique - we've got you covered.

A quick Google search will reveal all the inner city options, they all come highly recommended.

Pencil in a cocktail or two while chilling on leather sofas and taking in the stylish and quirky interiors at Hector Black's Lounge Bar post treatment.

4. Retail therapy

Stafford Street is Timaru's high street.  The streetscape is Edwardian, look up and you'll see some beautiful historic buildings.

There’s a range of specialty stores you won't find anywhere else, through to some of the nation’s best-known chain-stores.

There are also fantastic antique and vintage stores dotted around Timaru, and even more just north in Temuka.

Some of stores you won't find anywhere else include:

Black and Co/Heirlooms/Tuesday Store - These adjoining stores are a must-visit.  Beautifully curated gifts, designer clothing and antique and second hand finds.  Check out their recently launched online store.

Bay Hill Books -  A fabulous independent community bookshop in the heart of Timaru, celebrating books and the South Canterbury community.

Jewel of the Harem - Beautiful, unique silver and gemstone pieces, chosen individually from exotic locations around the globe.

You're the Bomb - The best bath bombs and beauty products, hand made, no toxic nasty stuff, and Luana  the creator has a fine arts degree so they look AMAZING.

19 Black, Miss Timaru & Stompz - Great fashion and footwear.

Compulsory cupcakes from Millie Rose Boutique Gifts and Cakes.

While you're here

Stock up on outstanding food in Geraldine.

Try before you buy and experiment with the flavours at Barker's Foodstore and Eatery, and don't leave town without a bottle of Humdinger Gin, pencil in a tasting at their distillery.

Explore Peel Forest

Drive 20 minutes up the road to Peel Forest for horse trekking, bush walks, craft beer and pizza.

DB Brewery Tours

DB Brewery Tours take you through the brewing process, giving you the chance to view the fresh raw ingredients and the brewery’s high speed bottling line.  Tours take about an hour, with sampling at the end of course.

Day trip to Mackenzie/Waimate/Waitaki

Our central location means we're a great urban base for lots of great road trips in any direction (except East unless by boat).

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