Family fun in Timaru
Timaru is the second largest city in Canterbury, it's pretty much right in the centre of the East Coast, about halfway between Dunedin and Christchurch.
It's the perfect place to meet your friends and whānau from across the South Island, plus we have direct daily flights from Wellington for our North Island mates.
So, if the thought of so much time off school in April has you scratching your head, meet in the middle in Timaru city. Read on for a bit of what you can expect.
Our playground right in the heart of Timaru city.
Caroline Bay, is a beautiful beach reserve, it's fantastic for swimming, and there's a cool pontoon to swim out to and leap off.
There's plenty of parkland dedicated to biking and walking tracks, disc golf, a skate park, a bike skills park and a playground.
From October to March it's home to a colony of kororā/little penguins. At this time of year though you're more likely to see dolphins just off shore. Go dolphin spotting on one of our coastal tracks, or launch your boat or jet ski into Caroline Bay.
You can easily spend a day here, trying out all the tracks.
Centennial Park is Timaru’s main green reserve, with loads of walking and biking tracks for all ages and abilities.
Set in a valley with native bush, the reserve has a small lake and a stream running through its centre.
It's a great place to picnic, there are two public BBQ's by the lake and a play area.
There's also a fantastic BMX skills park where you can catch some air.
THE BAY HILL
The Bay Hill is home to a row of fabulous eateries.
You can dine al fresco with stunning views out over Caroline Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
It's the perfect area for wining and dining, sunset drinks, morning coffees and a spot of people watching.
THE LANDING SERVICES PRECINCT
Our other main dining hub in the city surrounds this awesome historic building.
In the general area you'll find fantastic eateries that cover most cuisine styles from vegan to steak-house, take-away to fine dining.
The area comes to life on a Saturday morning with the Timaru Artisan Farmers Market.
DASHING ROCKS WALK
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.
Download the free Timaru Trails app while you're here and get exploring
Explore Caroline Bay, our scenic coastal walking tracks (including Dashing Rocks), our street art, cemetery, artisan food, heritage buildings and so much more with the Timaru Trails app.
You can also view the web version of the app from your PC or laptop.
While you're here
Find free fun
Some of the best things to do in Timaru District are completely free.
Cold day activities
There's plenty to do if the temperatures drop. The South Canterbury Museum and Aigantighe Art Gallery have cool holiday programmes, plus there's the Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre, MovieMax, Chipmunks and other places to keep dry and burn off energy.