Best day trips around Timaru

Whether you are a local or a visitor, there is plenty to do around the Timaru District. If you are looking for something to fill in a day around the region, we have plenty of options.

Here are some places to check out.

Timaru city

Start the day with a delicious breakfast at one of our top cafés, then set off exploring the town. Shop around our unique stores such as Millie Rose (make sure you get there early to secure one of Millie’s delicious cupcakes!), Tuesday, Black & Co and Dead2B before heading to the museum, or one of our many art galleries. For something a bit more thrilling, why not head to the Raptor Experience and handle a New Zealand Hawk/Karearea!

At the end of the day, sit back and relax with a drink on the bay hill overlooking beautiful Caroline Bay.


Drive time from Timaru: 20 minutes

Known in Te Reo Māori as Te Umu Kaha  which loosely translates to “the strong earth oven”, and delicious food is still very much a part of Temuka’s spirit.

With establishments such as the iconic Jolly Potter, Austin 92, 100% Homemade Café and Monarch Kitchen, there is something to satisfy all hunger levels.

After some food, head to the frisbee golf or mini golf course at the Temuka Domain for some competitive fun or explore local speciality stores such as Kings Shoe Store, His and Hers FashionGreen Hayes Emporium and Elegantly Waisted before enjoying an ice cream (or a swim!) at the Temuka River.


Drive time from Timaru: 35 minutes

Quaint and boutique, Geraldine will charm you.

On the main street, you can find high-end clothing and home décor at Flowers Inc, AOK Clothing, TRIO Boutique and The Kitchen Cupboard.

Head for delectable lunch at one of the cafes or restaurants including Barkers Food Store and Eatery, Running Duck or Verde before checking out one of the vintage museums, or head to Humdinger Gin or the Geraldine Cheese Factory for tastings. Finish the day in Orari with a round of mini golf at Mes Amis.

Pleasant Point

Drive time from Timaru: 20 minutes

On the way from Timaru to the Mackenzie District, Pleasant Point is definitely worth a visit.

Step back in time at the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway Museum (check their running times here), take a guided tour of the Te Ana Māori Rock Art site, stop for lunch at Velvet Blend and finish your day with a “must try” real fruit ice cream from Strawberry Divine.

Peel Forest

Drive time from Timaru: 55 minutes

Located 20 minutes from Geraldine, Peel Forest is a historic bush-clad village named after British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel. Covered in picturesque native flora, Peel Forest offers a wide range of nature walks for all fitness levels.

Spend the day exploring the shorter walks closer to the village like the Big Tree Walk, Emily Falls and Clarke Flat. Alternatively, challenge yourself to a full day hike up Little Mount Peel or Allans Track.

End your day with a delicious meal at the Green Man Pub.

Find more exciting and interesting places to visit around our region here