Cruise into Timaru District
Timaru District is centrally located on the East Coast of the South Island. There is so much to see and do here, and we're the closest Port to Aoraki/Mt Cook.
Our Port is conveniently located in Timaru City, where you can walk straight off the ship and start exploring. It’s a short walking distance to restaurants, shops, Caroline Bay, and other local activities and attractions.
On cruise days a bus shuttle service operates from the Port to the Visitor Information Centre in the heart of Timaru City.
Explore Timaru City
Hop off the ship and get straight into it!
- Head to the Information Centre for local gifts and inside information
- Jump on our four stop tour bus at the Information Centre
- Experience Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre
- Hit the shops for some retail therapy
- Visit the Aigantighe Art Gallery and the South Canterbury Museum
- Wander the CBD and check out our street art
- Wine and dine in our fantastic establishments
- Taste our world famous Denheath Custard Squares
- Go for a walk on our coastal tracks, looking for penguins and other wildlife
- If you're cruising with your MTB check out the tracks at Centennial Park
- Explore Caroline Bay and the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden
- Visit our Botanic Gardens - recognised as a Garden of National Significance
- Attend one of our iconic events
Explore the Central South Island
There is so much to experience and all within easy driving distance of Timaru Port.
We're the closest Port to the stunning scenery of the Mackenzie District - dark sky accredited, and home to Aoraki/Mount Cook, turquoise glacier fed lakes, and big skies.
We’re also the closest port to Waitaki District. Visit the Moeraki boulders, Riverstone Kitchen and castle, Oamaru the Steampunk capital of NZ, Victorian heritage experiences, and Whitestone Cheese factory tours.
Check out the range of tours offered by your cruise line as these are tailored to suit your time here. Tour operators will pick you up from the Port as you disembark.
If we can help anyone wishing to visit Timaru, or local people and operators wanting to get involved with cruise, please contact Aoraki Tourism on +643 687 7462 or send us an email.
The Harakeke Rose
We welcome cruise visitors to our special part of New Zealand with the gift of a harakeke rose, made with love by our local people.
The woven flax rose symbolises two important aspects of our unique heritage:
- We have the most significant collection of ancient Maori rock art sites in New Zealand
- We are home to the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden. Recognised as a Garden of Excellence, it contains one of the largest collections of Old Roses in the Southern Hemisphere.
You can experience both while your ship is in Port.
PrimePort is a first port of arrival, and an all weather Port with an easy approach channel and a sheltered inner harbour.
Vessels of up to 261m in length and 11m draft have regularly called at the Port. PrimePort provides a 24/7 pilotage service, all year round.
To assist in the berth and un-berthing of the vessels, PrimePort is served by two tugs, Tug Hinewai and Tug Te Maru (60 and 30 MT Bollard Pull) supplemented by the Pilot Launch Kiwa.
Pilotage is compulsory for vessels over 500 gross registered tonnes or over 40m in length. Pilots join the vessels at the Pilot Boarding Ground, south of the Fairway Beacon. Marine operations are conducted on VHF Channel 09.
The cruise berth pocket is 300 x 40m with a depth of 10.6m. The wharf has recently been upgraded with new fendering, bollards, new asphalt and is within walking distance to Timaru CBD.
The Port provides access of up to date weather information, accessible to all users and offers services such as water, power and garbage disposal.