Culture & Communities
The quality of life within the South Canterbury region is an increasing drawcard for many people who enjoy easy access to the outdoors, a wide range of year round activities and a safe and welcoming environment in which to raise a family.
Best of Both Worlds
- One of the highlights of South Canterbury life is the ability to choose to live a rural lifestyle and still live within an hour's drive from of Timaru city or any of the region's smaller townships.
- See Regional Highlights for an overview of South Canterbury’s town centres.
Arts, Culture & Clubs
Heritage & Attractions
- A fascinating European and Maori heritage is strongly linked to the present day, with almost every small township in the district featuring local museums and art galleries.
- For more information on things to see, enjoy and experience in and around South Canterbury, explore South Island Activities and Attractions and News and Events sections.
- Smaller towns throughout South Canterbury offer their own unique attractions, see South Canterbury Regional Highlights for an overview of what you can enjoy in and around Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Temuka, Waimate, Fairlie, Tekapo and Twizel.
Economy & Business
- From a business and career perspective, South Canterbury has a diversified economy and offers a wide range of employment and investment opportunities.
- Excellent medical and educational services and sporting facilities support a stable workforce.
- Housing is very affordable in comparison with many other parts of New Zealand.
- The people of South Canterbury are, in the majority, of the Christian faith, however a diversity of religious beliefs are welcomed and widely accepted. There are many Christian churches in the region, most operating an open-door philosophy. Click here for South Canterbury Heritage and Culture for more information on historic churches in the region.
- The South Canterbury economy is strongly influenced by its agricultural heritage and today agriculture in the district is diverse, with dairying having a significant impact. Increasing irrigation offers farmers a greater range of options for production – including intensive cropping, meat, wool and dairy. South Canterbury has long been known as "the food bowl" of the wider Canterbury area.
- Significant local manufacturing operations include the Fonterra Clandeboye dairy factory, McCain food processing plant, DB Mainland Breweries, NZ Light Leathers, Alliance Group Smithfield meat processing plant and well known gourmet food producer Barker's of Geraldine.
- South Canterbury is centrally located for distribution and PrimePort provides a well equipped gateway for exports and imports. With its central South Island location, excellent IT services, easy access, and relatively cheaper overheads, Timaru NZ proves a very viable base for many manufacturers and exporters.
New to South Canterbury?
- For those new to South Canterbury, groups such as the Aoraki Multicultural Council and Newcomers Network support individuals, families and groups from diverse ethnic backgrounds with information, networking and events that will help them settle in and become part of the South Canterbury community.
- Browse our listings for more information on services offered to new residents and recent migrants.
For a more thorough overview of South Canterbury NZ life and business, explore the other areas of our LIVE, WORK, and BUSINESS sections.