Walks in Timaru City

Timaru City Walks

Tuhawaiki (Jack’s) Point

1 hour - Moderate fitness required - gradual incline one way

This walk follows the coast from Scarborough Road, to Ellis Rd, passing the lighthouse in the middle.   Park at the end of Scarborough Rd and walk/run/bike along it.  Take in the epic coastal scenery and sounds, and keep an eye out for cute little penguins on the beach.  It's a 5km return trip, or 3.2km return if you go as far as the lighthouse and back.

Caroline Bay Walk

45 minutes - Moderate fitness required if you take in the Benvenue Cliffs
30 minutes - Easy walk if you leave out the Benvenue Cliffs

A return track from the city to the clifftop for a view along Caroline Bay.  Grab a coffee from the Bay Hill and start at the Piazza. There's lots to see around Caroline Bay on your way, before you head up to the Benvenue Cliffs and check out the views.  More details and a map here.

South Beach Coastal Track

20 minutes - Easy walk

A scenic stroll along the Timaru harbour.  Follow the edge of the bay to see stunning views of Caroline Bay, the Port and Timaru and the chance to spot a penguin or a seal.  More details and a map here.

Dashing Rocks

1 hour - Moderate fitness required

This stunning walk is one you won't want to miss!  It starts at Caroline Bay, heads over the cliffs at Benvenue to Moore St.  Follow the trees along the cliff top to the point where ancient lava flows from Mt Horrible met the sea. This point was once one of the coastal whaling lookouts, and the rocks below a favourite Maori fishing place.  More details and a map here.

Saltwater Creek

1 hour  - Easy walk

This walk will take you around an hour give or take.  This a well formed, gravel track mostly on the flat.  More details and a map here.

Otipua Creek

30 minutes - Easy walk

This is a well made track that is suitable for cycles as well as walkers. Paddocks on both sides of the river provide interest with farm animals and aquatic birds.  More details and a map here.

Otipua Wetlands

30 minutes - Easy walk

These wetlands have a wide variety of native trees, tussocks and sedges planted in a forest with a four hectare lake and a variety of native birds to marvel upon. Come and explore the beauty of our native wetlands for yourself.  More details and a map here.

Centennial Park

Multiple options for every fitness level

Centennial Park is Timaru’s main city reserve, with several walking and biking tracks.  Set in a small valley and native bush, the reserve has a small lake and carpark, with a stream running through its centre.  It's a great place to picnic, there are two public BBQ's by the lake and a play area.  For details on the walking tracks head here.

Central Timaru Historic Walk

30 minutes - Easy walk around the CBD, slight up and down hill sections

Start at the historic Landing Services Building, which is home to the Speights Ale House, Street Food Kitchen, Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre and the Timaru Information Centre.  The walk also conveniently ends at another eaterie, the Old Customs House.  More details and a map here.

Timaru Botanic Gardens Walking Tracks

Multiple options for every fitness level

A wonderful wander around and through the amazing botanic gardens.  There are lots of tracks, you can follow the map or just plot your own course.  More details and a map here.

Geraldine Walks

Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve

Multiple options for every fitness level

Further afield, Geraldine has four ideal family walks taking between 5 – 10 minutes within the Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve.

You’ll have to leave your dog behind for these walks.

Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

Multiple options for every fitness level

About 20 kilometres north of Geraldine is the Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, a large reserve covering 783 hectares around Little Mt Peel.  Here, you’ll find a variety of tracks from a short 30-minute walk past large forest trees to a two-to-three hour ascent of Little Mt Peel.

For more on Mt Peel, read the Department of Conservation’s brochure on walks in the area.

Pekapeka Gully Track

1 hour - Good level of fitness - steep sections

Allow around an hour, a step grade up and down so requires some fitness.  You may be lucky enough to spot ou native bat the Pekapeka, and other native birds.  The views at the top are epic.  More details and a map here.

Ribbonwood Track

1 hour - Good level of fitness - steep sections

This track rewards you with some great views once you get to the top.  You need to take care when walking along the road sections due to traffic.  You can extend this walk into the Talbot Forest Tracks.  More details and a map here.

Waihi River Walkway

30 minutes - Easy walk

Start your walk in the Geraldine township.  This walk follows the course of the river through town, and returns on the other side of the river.  You go past a skatepark and playground which make good stops if you're walking with children.  More details and a map here.

Pleasant Point Walks

Opihi Walkway

3 hours one way - Flat track but long

A long but flat walkway of 3 hours one way, so you might consider having a car at each end.  A great walk to stretch your legs, you can start at the Arowhenua end and finish for lunch or refreshments in Pleasant Point.

If you're after a shorter stroll check out these walks.

Waitohi Bush

Have a day out at Waitohi Bush, just out of Pleasant Point, or go camping!  More details and a map here.

Temuka Walks

Taumatakahu Stream

10 minutes - Easy walk

This walk is a short 10 minute stroll through the Taumatakahu Reserve.  More details and a map here.

Temuka Domain

45 minutes - Easy walk

This Domain is a great place to hang out, with a bird aviary, parklike gardens and an awesome playground and picnic area.  This track takes in the park and should take around 45 minutes.  More details and a map here.