Timaru, the urban hub of South Canterbury NZ offers a refreshing base just two hours drive south of Christchurch for that special break that you and your family deserve. A picturesque blend of coast and country, Timaru is well placed to suit holiday pursuits for all ages and interests.
Caroline Bay & The Piazza
Holiday makers have been attracted to the popular, sandy beach of Caroline Bay and its iconic summer Caroline Bay Carnival for over a century. The newly developed beachfront area has scenic lookout points, popular beachfront boardwalks, children's playground areas, paddling pools, a skating rink and numerous picnic spots. When it's time to come in from the outdoors, relax at a cafe, bar or restaurant on the Piazza above the Bay and enjoy stunning views of Caroline Bay and mountains beyond.
Eating Out & Shopping
Within a short walk from Caroline Bay there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Southern hospitality features high on the menu here, you'll find the same friendly service in shops and boutiques when you stroll into the compact town centre just a few steps away.
Timaru historic heritage has been well preserved, both in terms of its architecture and through local treasures housed in the excellent South Canterbury Museum. Within easy walking distance from central Timaru, the Aigantighe Art Gallery enjoys a well-deserved reputation as having one of the best collections of New Zealand art to be found in any provincial city.
In Praise of the Rose
Timaru has a long association with the rose and the flower grows beautifully all over South Canterbury NZ. Parks, private gardens and streetscapes are awash with colour throughout the summer season. Timaru City even has its own rose - a vibrant red floribunda named "Trumpeter" after Louis Armstrong. The Timaru Festival of Roses, held every November, is one of New Zealand's premier garden festivals, with rose and garden-themed events attracting thousands of visitors every year. The Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden on Caroline Bay (access from the Piazza on the Bay Hill) features over 1200 rose varieties in an architecturally designed setting complete with arbors, pools and fountain. This much photographed, sumptuous fusion of traditional rose garden style and contemporary design is much photographed and well worth a visit.
The growing popularity of the South Canterbury NZ region has ensured a range of Timaru accommodation options for all budgets - hotels and motels, backpacker lodges, holiday parks and many B&B (Bed and Breakfast) establishments, some in historic houses. See South Canterbury accommodation or browse our South Canterbury NZ listings for more detail on options and prices.