Awesome cheap things to do in a day


Our top 5 picks

Free beach walk

Head to the ocean and walk the shoreline of Caroline Bay – voted New Zealand’s fourth best beach by AA Travellers.

The sheltered, sandy beach is a great spot any time of the day. If you’ve got kids, you might want to make a detour to the playground. It’s a great place to check out public artworks.

If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to look over the sea at the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’ll take your breath away. (For free!).

Good coffee, yummy kai

Grab a coffee from 2 Stags Café on Stafford Street (it’ll set you back between $4 to $5) – one of Timaru’s best cafes.

It’s a five-minute walk from Caroline Bay. Open from 7am on weekdays, 2 Stags Café is pretty popular right now for its open pulled pork, appleslaw sandwiches ($13.50). You could always sit down and have one of those too.

Unlimited hydrosliding for $4

Ready for some affordable family action? Then grab your togs and head to the Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre to ride the hydroslides.

Open from 10.30am to 5pm on weekends and public holidays, it costs just $4.00 for unlimited rides (on top of your pool entry fee).

Cycle Centennial Park for free

If you’re still full of pep after the pools, then you might want to check out one of Timaru’s many cycle tracks.

You can hire a bike locally from The Cyclery if you haven’t got your own set of wheels. Or grab your bike and head to Centennial Park on Otipua Road. It’ll take five minutes in the car and about 15 minutes to bike there.

The park is huge – and has enough tracks to keep you busy for hours. (It's free).

Free public art collection

It’s probably time to head indoors after all that outdoor activity. The Aigantighe Art Gallery is a great place to check out.

Located on Wai-Iti Road, the gallery is home to an impressive public art collection. There’s always plenty on for the kids. Its park-like grounds are great for a wander among sculpture.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm, weekends 12 – 4pm. (It's free).