Timaru city

In Timaru, you can catch a glimpse of the world’s smallest penguin, gobble down an export-quality custard square and soak up the sun at Caroline Bay (voted most popular beach in the South Island in 2015).

The Bay Hill looks out over the Caroline Bay area, it's home to a row of fabulous eateries.  Insiders unanimously recommend heading to the Bay Hill at anytime of the day for refreshments while taking in the views.  For more info check out these restaurants:

Fusion Restaurant - For modern cuisine which is affordable and outstanding
The Bay Hill Brewery Bar - Enjoy beautiful food with the best view in town
Little India - Absolutely delicious curries, dine in or takeaway.

We’re the proud birthplace of Phar Lap, some say the greatest racehorse that ever lived, and we’re one of the best places in New Zealand to view ancient Māori rock art.

There’s Jack’s Point if you’re into surfing or the ominous-sounding (but extinct) Mt Horrible volcano if hiking and rock climbing is more your thing.

Or you can stroll the town’s ocean-facing botanic gardens, take the kids for a dip in Timaru’s outdoor heated swimming pool or pop in to a local winery for a glass of premium pinot noir.

Got a hankering for craft beer? Then check out these places, as recommended by our insiders!

History of Timaru

Ours is a rich history of Māori tribal settlement, European whale traders and colonial settlers who came to Timaru set up sheep stations.

We have tales of ancient moa bone discoveries, tragic shipwreck and murder (one of our earliest mayors was reputedly poisoned by a family member).

Even our airport is a bit special. It’s named after Timaru farmer and inventor Richard Pearse, who’s said to have invented powered flight before the Wright brothers.

How to get here

Timaru is just two hours’ drive from Christchurch and Dunedin – and has daily direct flights from Wellington.  More info on traffic options here.