Great outdoorsy things to do


Awesome outdoor activities 

Go skiing

In less than a couple of hours drive from Timaru, you can find yourself at Mt Dobson, at the southern end of the Two Thumb Range, which is ideal for novice to intermediate skiiers. 

Fox Peak, at the highest point of the Two Thumb Range, is a mixed-ability club field. 

Roundhill, near Tekapo, is great for beginners, intermediates and more advanced skiiers. 

Mt Hutt is, one of the most popular resorts, is ideal for all ability levels

Surf Lighthouse Reef

If you like to surf, there's a cracking wave just 20 minutes' drive from Timaru. 

Lighthouse Reef is a right hand reef break best for advanced to expert surfers. On a rocky reef south of Jack’s Point, the wave has a drop in, with powerful hollow, barrel sections. 

Get there by heading south on the main State Highway from Timaru. Turn left on either Ellis or Scarborough Road and drive to the coast. There’s car parking, but you’ll need to walk to the point.

Mountain bike Centennial Park

Centennial Park is Timaru’s main city reserve – and a great place to mountain bike. 

Grab your wheels and head to the designated mountain bike track. 

The park has three points of entry, Quarry Road off Otipua Road, Quarry Road off Claremont Road and the stone gate on Otipua Road at the intersection with Church Street. Quarry Road runs through the middle of the park with several parking sites.

Walk at Peel Forest

Peel Forest is a scenic forest park about 45 minutes’ drive from Timaru. 

Do the Big Tree Walk if you feel like an easy, short walk that leads you to an ancient totara. Start at the Te Wanahu picnic shelter.

Bike, swim or walk Caroline Bay

Caroline Bay has plenty of parkland dedicated to biking and walking. 

The Caroline Bay Track takes you from the city to the clifftop for a view along Caroline Bay. The South Beach Coastal Track takes you along the Timaru harbour. 

Finish up your walk or bike ride by taking a dip in the ocean.

Take a rafting tour

Geraldine adventure tourism firm Hidden Valleys are a one-stop-shop when it comes to rafting tours. 

They offer rafting tours of between two to five days to suit all ages and all abilities and are located 36 kilometres from Timaru. 

Rangitata Rafts is another local adventure operator based at Peel Forest, 57 kilometres from Timaru. Their most popular rafting trip is the Grade 5 Rangitata Gorge guided tour that runs every day from October to May.

Go canyoning

Canyoning is ideal for adventure junkies. It combines jumping into pools, sliding down chutes and abseiling rocks and waterfalls – all within a wild forest landscape. 

Geraldine-based Big Rock Canyons, just 36 kilometres from Timaru, offer tours suited to a range of ages and experience.

Book a horse trek

You won't have to go far to go horse trekking. Peel Forest Horse Trekking, a family-run business, offer horse trekking in and around Peel Forest. 

They're only 45 minutes' drive from Timaru. Their two-hour river and forest trek takes you through the ancient podocarp forest of Peel Forest, while their half-day trek takes riders into Mt Peel for views across the Canterbury Plains.