2-night Romantic Getaway in Timaru
For romantic getaways, the Timaru District is the perfect location. Beautiful walks, delicious food, and stunning accommodation. Take an easy 2-hour drive from Christchurch or Dunedin or jump on a quick, direct flight from Wellington.
Enjoy the Timaru District with this 2-night, 3-day romantic getaway itinerary.
Day 1: Explore native forest trails and starlit skies
- Take a hike in the Peel Forest Scenic Reserve.
- Grab lunch at The Green Man at Peel Forest.
- Sample some delicious artisan products in Geraldine.
- See a movie at the historic Geraldine Cinema.
- Spend the night under the stars at Ngā Whare Mānatu.
Hike the native podocarp forest in the Peel Forest Scenic Reserve
Peel Forest Scenic Reserve, located 15 minutes from Geraldine township, is one of the last remnants of the low-lying podocarp forest that formerly covered this area.
In the reserve, there are 8 hiking trails, from an easy stroll to the Big Tree to a 9-hour hike up Little Mount Peel with waterfalls and curious native birds such as fantails/piwakawakas and bellbirds/korimako.
Grab a pizza at The Green Man at Peel Forest
A local favourite, The Green Man at Peel Forest is the perfect place to relax after your walk. Kick back in front of the fire with a delicious burger or one of their incredible pizzas. They regularly have live music, so keep an eye on their events calendar.
Sample beautiful artisan products in the Geraldine township
Geraldine is famous for its delectable artisan products. Spend the afternoon sampling the exquisite local products of Barker's of Geraldine Food Store & Eatery, Geraldine Cheese Co., and Humdinger, a small-batch botanical gin producer.
Catch a movie at the historic Geraldine Cinema.
Opened in 1925, the Geraldine Cinema (formally the Geraldine Town Hall) was one of the first buildings in the township to have power. Today, the building runs as a boutique cinema. Featuring comfy couches and armchairs, the cinema is one of the last of its kind in the country.
Showing new releases and eclectic, independent films, it’s the perfect way to finish off your day.
Spend a night under the stars at Ngā Whare Mānatu.
Situated in the native trees above the Geraldine Township is Ngā Whare Mānatu. With four private pods, it’s the perfect choice for a romantic night away.
Grab a drink and sit under the stars in your private hot tub, before retreating inside to continue watching the stars through the skylights above the luxurious king-sized beds.
Day 2: Take in the seaside and meet some locals
- Head to the Timaru seaside for a stroll on Caroline Bay
- Wander the main street for a spot of shopping in the fantastic range of independent stores.
- Indulge in a post lunch cupcake from Millie Rose.
- Meet some New Zealand raptors in a hands-on experience.
- Have a romantic dinner at The Oxford.
- End the night with a funky cocktail from Hector Black’s.
- Enjoy a comfy night’s sleep and wake to ocean views.
Breath in the freeze morning sea breeze with a walk on Caroline Bay
After your delicious complimentary continental breakfast at Ngā Whare Mānatu, head to Timaru to for a stroll on the beach at Caroline Bay. Take in the fresh morning sea breeze with a coffee hand.
Hit the shops for some retail therapy
The Timaru CBD is full of fantastic independent stores, such as The Ringmakers, Timaru Booksellers, Black & Co, Dead 2 B, Hello Cyril and Soul Surf Skate to name a few, as well as a collection of the usual national chain stores. You'll find something fun and different for your wardrobe or home.
Grab lunch at one of the many cafes dotted along the main street.
Indulge with a post-lunch designer cupcake from Millie Rose Boutique
A cupcake from a Millie Rose Boutique is a must when visiting Timaru. Millie’s designer cupcakes are a favourite for locals. With flavours such as chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, carrot cake and raspberry & white chocolate it will be hard to stop at just one!
Meet NZ’s meat-eating birds at The Raptor Experience
Get up close with New Zealand’s raptor birds at The Raptor Experience. Learn about these incredible birds, their history, cultural significance, and the work that the NZ Raptor Trust does in rescuing and rehabilitating injured raptor birds.
Finish the tour off with an opportunity to handle these beautiful birds in a safe and controlled environment.
Enjoy a romantic dinner at The Oxford
Located in the Timaru CBD an historic building, The Oxford serve simple, beautiful kiwi style food with rustic bold flavours that marry together perfectly.
Signature mains include Chicken Saltimbocca, Wild Venison and Slow Roasted Beef Cheeks.
Finish the night with a funky cocktail from Hector Black’s
Hector Black’s unique and cosy atmosphere will round out your day perfectly!
The funky interior is something to behold with a nod to the Timaru area’s rich equestrian history and you can also spot the bar’s name sake, Hector, the owner’s beloved taxidermy Jack Russell stand’s proudly in the centre of the bar.
A varied beer list including local brewery, Ship Hop is accompanied by an extensive wine and delicious cocktail list.
Wake to stunning ocean views
Located on the bay hill, Panorama Motor Lodge is the perfect place for your second night stay. Spacious units, comfy beds and a 3-minute walk to the cafes and restaurants for breakfast, it has everything you need.
Wake up and enjoy the stunning panoramic coastal and mountain views.
Day 3: Finish off your stay with a journey back in time
- Grab a delicious breakfast at Bay Hill Brewery
- Step back in time at the Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre
Keep enjoying the views with breakfast on the Bay Hill
Located right next door to the Panorama, the Bay Hill Brewery enjoys those stunning coastal views over Caroline Bay.
Grab a smashed avo on toast, chicken and waffles or a classic Eggs Bene and a coffee to start your day.
Explore New Zealand’s original art galleries at the Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre
Step back in time and learn the history of the ancient Māori rock art drawings throughout the Timaru District. Located in the Timaru CBD, the Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre is a hands-on, interactive style museum showcasing real and replica rock art drawings, stories and history of the local Māori settlers. A truly unique and special experience.
Find more ideas for a holiday in the Timaru District by checking out our stories section.