Explore Caroline Bay


Located alongside the Timaru CBD, Caroline Bay is a stunning sandy beach just minutes from the main street.

Dig your toes in the warm sand, play beach cricket and swim in the warmer months, or enjoy a stroll on the sand with a coffee in hand on a cool Autumn or winter morning.

Here are our favourite things about Caroline Bay:

1. Safe swimming beach

Caroline Bay was voted a top 10 family beach by AA Traveller. It's shelter bay, and shallow waters make it perfect place for the whole family to enjoy.  It's also great for paddle boarding, kayaking, and sailing.

2. Resident Little Blue Penguin / Kororā Colony

There is a small resident colony of Little Blue Penguins that call Caroline Bay home. At just 40cm tall, the Little Blue Penguin is the world's smallest penguin breed.  Penguins are seen nightly coming ashore from October through to March. They return to their nests after dark, so dress warmly and wait quietly for them to return.

The best place to view the penguins is along Marine Parade which is lit by the port security lights.

3. Awesome facilities

Within the Caroline Bay grounds, you will find New Zealand's largest playground, skate park, carnival rides that run over the summer months, bird aviary and more!

4. Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden

Named after a local nurseryman and author who had a passion for growing old rose varieties, the garden was deemed "a garden of excellence" in 2013 by the World Federation of Rose Societies.

Designed by architect, Sir Miles Warren, it features more than 1200 roses and has a rose from every rose family in the world.

The best time to view the gardens is from the end of November to the beginning of December when flowering is at it's peak.

5.  It's dog friendly! (in the winter months)

From from 1 April - 30 September each year, dogs are allowed to be exercised on Caroline Bay. This is very popular with locals and visitors who have brought their four-legged friends along for their holiday.

Please note, that Little Blue Penguins nest at each end of the bay, so please keep dogs away from the rocks.