Our town of Temuka was once known by local Maori as "The Place of the Hot Ovens", or Te-umu-kaha, as they used huge earthen ovens bake the roots of the cabbage tree.
We are known world-wide for our iconic Temuka pottery, but our small township has plenty more to offer.
The best things to see and do in and around Temuka
Fossick for Vintage Treasure
Temuka is a second hand shoppers dream. At last count there are 6 stores selling vintage goods, rooms full of furniture and treasure to discover. The op shop scene is still vibrant in the South Island, our stores haven't been cleaned out of all the good finds.
The best time to hit the shops is during the week, some of the stores close in the weekend, although still worth a visit to the ones that are.
Temuka Pottery is world famous and we've been producing it since 1931. Temuka Pottery now features an array of colourful and fashionable designs, available to view and purchase at the Temuka Pottery Shop. The cafe attached to the shop does great food and coffee too.
Just ask anyone in Temuka who flew first, Richard Pearse or the Wright Brothers, you are sure to get the right answer.
Our man Richard Pearse, well he was known locally as “Mad Pearse” or “Bamboo Dick” just because he used bamboo in the construction of his flying machines. In either 1903 or 1904, he took his first flight, watched only by a few neighbours, he taxied his home-built machine into position, opened the throttle and lifted off, flying just a short distance before landing ignominiously in a gorse hedge.
Want to know more? Then check out the Richard Pearse website or visit the Richard Pearse Memorial, Main Waitohi Road, Waitohi, South Canterbury.
Temuka Courthouse Museum
The Temuka Courthouse Museum is a great way to find out about our rich history. We used this amazing ornate building as a courthouse right up until 1979.
The museum is open on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm, Labour Weekend to Queen’s Birthday Weekend, or by arrangement with the Temuka Information Centre.
The Temuka Domain
Our Domain has something for everyone there are sports grounds, a skate park, a mini golf course, a children's playground, an awesome aviary, colourful gardens, stately trees and an area of native bush called Gunnions Bush, named after Mr T Gunnion as he planted it way back in 1910. Our Domain covers 75 hectares of land and is great place to play in, have a picnic or just sit back and soak up the atmosphere.
Try out the bike track
Temuka School have put in an epic new bike track, that people are welcome to use outside school hours. Designed in consultation by the school pupils, there's a section suitable for learning to bike and a more advanced section for practicing your skills.
Opihi River Mouth
The Opihi River Mouth is a great place for fishing, camping, swimming, picnics, collecting 'stuff' and wildlife spotting - dolphins and porpoises, seals, even a Southern Right whale and her calf have visited!
Anglers from around the world are drawn to our fine fishing rivers especially where the Rangitata and Opihi rivers meet the Pacific Ocean.
We're proud of our quinnat salmon, but our whole area is also well known for its excellent trout fishing and the variety of nearby waterways.
For more information about fishing seasons and licences, check out Central South Island Fish and Game.