Things to see and do
EXPLORE CAROLINE BAY & SURROUNDS
Caroline Bay is the most widely known of all the parks in the Timaru District. When speaking to some from outside Canterbury about Timaru they will usually mention Caroline Bay, whereas locals will often refer to it as ‘The Bay’. The beach is sheltered by the harbour breakwater and is the only sandy beach between Oamaru and Banks Peninsula. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk or after a game of beach volleyball, Caroline Bay has something for everyone.
FRAGANT DELIGHTS AT THE TREVOR GRIFFITHS ROSE GARDEN
Home to unique collection of old roses, the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden was gifted to the city by celebrated rosarian Trevor Griffiths. In 2013 it was deemed ‘a garden of excellence’ by the World Federation of Rose Societies and has become a major attraction. The garden was designed by Sir Miles Warren and has more than 1200 roses and has a plant from every rose family in the world. This impressive garden is in full bloom from mid November to mid December each year.
HIT THE SHOPS FOR SOME RETAIL THERAPY
Timaru district has a great range of shopping options, from the CBD area in downtown Timaru city, to the village-like atmosphere of Geraldine. There’s a range of specialty stores offering boutique shopping, through to some of the nation’s best known chain-stores. Couple that with a fantastic range of food makers who pour their hearts and souls into making delicious, wholesome produce, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
If you are looking for merino garments, Kathmandu and Macpac provide good quality, activewear or if you are looking for more fashion items, the likes of AOK Clothing in Geraldine has a great range on offer.
WANDER THE CBD & CHECK OUT THE STREET ART
Street art has been transforming urban landscapes and communities globally. It energises and inspires, it adds vibrancy to otherwise generic cityscapes. Timaru’s street art project has been undertaken by the locals at the Timaru Civic Trust and Alive Vibrant Timaru. Wander around the Timaru CBD and get your selfie on at these cool sites.
VISIT OUR BOTANIC GARDENS
The Timaru Botanic Garden is located on 19 hectares of land in south Timaru and dates back to 1864, when the site was first set aside as a public reserve. In 2014, the garden was recognised as a Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.
WALK OR BIKE ON OUR COASTAL TRACKS, TO SPOT PENGUINS & OTHER WILDLIFE
Caroline Bay has a resident rookery of Korora, or little blue penguins, nesting among the rocks. At 40cm they are the smallest penguins in the world, reaching speeds of up to 6kph underwater. They come ashore after sunset, so dress warmly and wait quietly on the footpath or adjacent beach outside the barriers. E-Bikes can be hired from Point E-Bikes listed below.
WINE AND DINE IN OUR FANTASTIC ESTABLISHMENTS
The Bay Hill looks out over the Caroline Bay area, it’s home to a collection of fabulous eateries. Insiders recommend heading to the Bay Hill at anytime of the day for refreshments and a bite to eat while taking in the views. Our other hub if you wish to wine and dine in the city is around the historic Landing Services Building (next to the Information Centre) but the main street is also scattered with great places to enjoy multiple cuisines.
2 George Street, Timaru.
0800 468 3262
Immerse yourself in Māori culture and explore the original art galleries of Aotearoa - the ancient Māori rock art sites of the Aoraki region. Visit the tribal rock art centre in Timaru CBD or take a personalized guided tour to iconic Māori rock art sites. The centre is located alongside the Information Centre.
022 333 2606
Take in the sights around Timaru by jumping on an e-bike for hire, available from outside the Information Centre. Hire for two hours minimum. Medium fitness required.
49 Wai-iti Road, Timaru
The Aigantighe Art Gallery is home to an extensive permanent collection of New Zealand and international art. Wander through the sculpture garden and head into the gallery to view featured works from its permanent collection or one of the feature exhibitions.
4 Perth Street, Timaru
The South Canterbury Museum is a great place to explore the culture of our District. There’s always plenty to see - new exhibitions pop up all the time and they’ve got several long-term collections you won’t find anywhere else.