Day escape in the Timaru District

School's back but in the absence of Saturday sport here's some inspiration for fun with the whanau in Timaru District.


Find a WuHoo!

Family fun at it's best, free and unplugged. WuHoo!

WuHoo Timaru encompasses a range of amazing activities that will have you out and about exploring Timaru in fun and unique ways.

Activities include scavenger hunts at Caroline Bay and the Botanic Gardens, a sculpture hunt, the Play 43 playground challenge, and much more.

Head to the WuHoo Timaru website to find out more and be inspired to get out into nature and have fun.

Organised by the volunteers and legends at WuHoo Timaru.


Join the Explorers' Club

Become an explorer at South Canterbury Museum.

Sign up as an explorer and collect rewards for simply visiting the Museum or coming to special events!

All Explorers will get a lanyard, a Museum Passport, and an Explorers' Club badge.  Each time you visit get your passport stamped and have the chance to collect more badges (all totally free).

If Museums are your thing, we have ten museums in Timaru District.


Food + fun

The winning combination when it comes to dining with kids.

If you want to enjoy great food and keep the kids busy then check out these destination eateries - all also happen to be licensed.

The Geraldine Orchard and Farmshop has soccer golf and a bouncy castle on site. They do great lunches, brunches, burgers, kids menu and our pick, the Kumara Rosti Stack.

The Shearer's Quarters is situated just north of Timaru. They have a menagerie of gorgeous farmyard animals to interact with, a giant chess set, a playground and petanque.  You can play mini-golf and test yourself in the maze for just $5 each.

Cafe Mes Amis is situated on State Higway 1 at Orari. You don't have to dine in to play mini golf, although we highly recommend it.  The course is 18 holes and a round costs $6 for children and $10 for adults, with a discount for larger groups.


Native bat spotting

That's right, we have bats in Timaru District.

If you head to Talbot Forest in Geraldine on dusk you may be lucky enough to see them flittering around, like butterflies.

Otherwise, keep an eye out for bat roost trees.  You'll see a metal band around a tree and a little 'bat roost tree' sign.  The band is to stop predators climbing up, and if you quietly stare up into the tree you may see tiny bats sleeping.

You can learn more about these bats at the Geraldine Historical Museum.

You'll also see bat roost trees in the Pleasant Point Domain.


Easy bush & coastal tracks

Get on your bike, or go for a hike.

You'll find beautiful shared use tracks throughout Timaru District.

From a challenging climb up Little Mount Peel at Peel Forest, to flat coastal tracks like the Dashing Rocks Walk that starts and finishes at Caroline Bay.

Head to Temuka and check out the walks to the Taumatakahu Stream and Temuka Domain.  They also have a fantastic bike track open to the public in the weekends at Temuka Primary School.


Famlan Animal Park

These friendly animals are loving being able to interact with kids again!

Famlan is an animal farm park with Wessex saddleback pigs, Kunekune pigs, alpaca, sheep and lambs, chickens, ducks, peacocks, goats, guinea pigs, rabbits and ponies.

The animals are very friendly, they LOVE visitors  - especially if you have FOOD!  Bring your camera, pack a picnic.


Catch a crab

Washdyke Lagoon is an amazing place to explore.

Drive down Bridge Rd and park after the railway underpass bridge.  Cross the stile and follow a track to the right and you'll come across the rock pools.  You'll find crabs, limpets, sea snails and other little creatures.

These are among the best rock pools on the East Coast of the South Island.  There is a window of two hours either side of low tide when this area is uncovered before the sea hides this area from view.  Check out the latest information on tides here.

Please be careful - the brown clay at the start of the rocky part is extremely slippery.  Please go around this area.


Other options

Check out our Family Fun section for more inspiration.

Read about our 'Family Escape to Geraldine' for more inspiration.

Check out these delicious meals from some of our eateries in Timaru and Geraldine.

If you're going to visit any observatory The Geraldine Observatory is the one we recommend.

In Timaru no day is complete without having sampled a Denheath custard square.  Available from cafes all over town. You can also buy them from the Denheath factory on Mill Street.

Pick up some cute cupcakes in Timaru from Millie Rose.

Visit children's lifestyle boutique  Frankie Did It in Geraldine, for a gorgeous collection of childrens clothing, footwear, homewares and gifts.