Visit South Canterbury General Information
It's All Here...
You'll find almost every activity you can think of in South Canterbury! South Canterbury offers outdoor adventure for all ages and skill levels. Within a short drive from the main centre Timaru, the townships of Geraldine, Peel Forest, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Waimate offer a variety of activities, adventures and attractions for all ages and interests.
Ideas for Starters
- Experience the thrill of white water rafting, horse riding along riverbanks, walks through native forest, or mountain biking on off road trails.
- South Canterbury NZ braided rivers are full of fish and the mountain foothills you see from every angle are paradise for recreational hunters.
- Take in the landscape from above with a scenic fixed wing or helicopter flight, offering breathtaking views from the mountains to the sea.
- A 4WD (four wheel drive) adventure into South Canterbury wilderness will get you amongst the action closer to ground - with Lord of the Rings sites or high country farming stations will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.
- Foodies of all ages will enjoy exploring the South Canterbury Food and Wine Trail, which provides details (with maps) of some of South Canterbury's best gourmet and specialiality food producers, wineries, cafés, restaurants and B&Bs. Find out more about South Canterbury Food and Wine trail guides, or pick up a copy of this guide at one of our South Canterbury Visitor Centres.
- With more golf courses per capita than anywhere in the southern hemisphere, South Canterbury has something to offer every golf enthusiast. Views from most courses are stunning, with outlooks stretching from ocean to alps. Low green fees will be a pleasant surprise!
- If gardens are your thing, South Canterbury has many beautiful public gardens, some of them award winning and all lovingly and proudly maintained. Private garden tours are also popular and every in November, Timaru pays homage to the rose with a famous week-long Timaru Festival of Roses. For more information on Central South Island garden tours, visit our South Canterbury NZ 4WD and Scenic Tours area.
An Event for All Seasons
South Canterbury has a vibrant, very active and continually-growing events programme, well supported by locals and businesses alike. The Caroline Bay Carnival, the longest running carnival of its type in New Zealand, has been a favourite with families from all over the country since its early days 100 years ago. Other major annual events in South Canterbury include The New Zealand Hat & Hair Art Awards, the Timaru Festival of Roses, Geraldine Arts and Plants Festival, motor sport racing at Levels International Motor Raceway, the South Canterbury Hospice Food & Wine Festival and Waimate Strawberry Fare. Our South Canterbury NZ Events Calendar offers more information on many South Canterbury events and festivals.
For a summary family friendly of options by area, see Regional Highlights. Many adventure activity operators provide child-safe options for younger participants. Ask at the Timaru or Geraldine Visitor Centres for more information on family friendly activities. Our Visitor Centre team will be more than happy to put it all together into an itinerary for you (a free service at no extra charge) and have the local knowledge to help you have a great time while you are here.