Swimming in Timaru

Caroline Bay: South Island’s most popular beach

Caroline Bay, a much-loved swimming spot, is one of the jewels in Timaru’s crown.

Recently voted most popular beach in the South Island, Caroline Bay is a sheltered sandy beach ideal for anyone who loves a dip (resident penguins included).  Over the warmer months you can swim out to the community pontoon, launched in April 2019.  The pontoon, complete with slide, is already proving popular for swimmers - young and old.

With beach boardwalks, public artworks, free barbeques and playgrounds, this sandy beach is a great place to relax and hang out.

Walk the coastline, have a picnic, or spend the day.

If you’re here in December, be sure not to miss the annual summer carnival – it’s a major highlight on South Canterbury’s calendar.

Swimming pools

When the summer temperatures rise in Timaru, you’ll find the region’s outdoor swimming pools buzzing.

Our community pools in Timaru, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Geraldine are all open from November to March – as is our 50-metre outdoor pool within the Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre.

For year-round swimming and hydroslide fun, visit Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre on Te Weka Street.

Within the complex, there’s a 25-metre lane pool, a leisure and toddlers’ pool, two hydroslides, a café – and the all-important luxury spa, sauna and steam room.

Check out the Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre website for more information.

Close by

Tekapo Hot Springs is a 90-minute drive from Timaru.

Go there to soak in outdoor hot pools looking over Lake Tekapo.

There’s an outdoor ice rink open in winter, a tube park open all year round and a day spa open seven days a week.

Find out more on the Tekapo Springs website.