Timaru Travel Guide

  • A huge staircase leads down to the Rose Garden.
    A huge staircase leads down to the Rose...
    by Kakapo2
  • View over the sea from the west.
    View over the sea from the west.
    by Kakapo2
  • A nice church at an elevated position.
    A nice church at an elevated position.
    by Kakapo2

Timaru Highlights

  • Pro
    Kakapo2 profile photo

    Kakapo2 says…

     Small enough to explore in less than a day but enough to do on a longer stay 

  • Con
    tinkabel profile photo

    tinkabel says…

     COLD! Winter temps as low as -5 degrees C. 

  • In a nutshell
    pepples46 profile photo

    pepples46 says…

     famous NZ Legends where born in Timaru. 

Timaru Things to Do

  • Visit the Aigantighe Art Gallery

    For a start you would surely be interested to know how to pronounce Aigantighe, am I right?Well, it is: “Egg and Tie”.The word is Scottish Gaelic and means: at home.The Scottish name of this Edwardian house refers to the first owners who were born in Scotland and made Timaru their new home. Aigantighe was built in 1908 as the retirement home of...

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  • The Aviary

    Down in the park area, adjacent to the botanical gardens is the Timaru Aviary.It is a small domed enclosure with many exotic birds. There may be some local New Zealand birds, but most are imported. There are parrots, wood birds, ducks, egrets, etc.The fenced enclosure has some segregated cages to isolate some birds, yet many are free flying in the...

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  • Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden, Timaru's...

    This is Timaru’s biggest pride, located at the foot of the Timaru Piazza, just a stonethrow from the shores of Caroline Bay. From the Piazza on Bay Hill you have a great aerial view of the garden which has been architecturally designed by Sir Miles Warren, and has strictly geometrical shapes. It features nearly 1200 roses, arbors, a lych gate,...

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  • You can Dine at the Old Customs House

    The Old Customs House is quite a spectacular building, some steps from the main road where you would not necessarily walk to. Its Corinthian style architecture and its striking white colour with light blue pillars and columns make it a standout landmark.From the Visitor Centre (i-site) in the former Landing Service Building you would just walk down...

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  • The new Phar Lap Memorial at the Raceway

    On 25 and 26 November 2009 Timaru celebrated a Phar Lap Festival, honouring New Zealand’s (and Australia’s) most famous racehorse ever. The highlight was the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue at Phar Lap Raceway north of the township.The statue was created by Auckland based sculptor Joanne Sullivan-Gessler.The life-sized bronze sculpture...

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  • TIMARU VISTOR CENTRE & CAPTAIN CAIN

    As usual, we found the Information centre before heading out and having a look at Timaru.The Tourist Information Centre is the restored stone Service Landing Building, which has a small maritime museum inside. The staff helped us out, sold us some souvenirs, and then we had a look at the beautifully done sculpture of Captain Henry Cain, an...

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  • TREVOR GRIFFITH'S ROSE GARDEN

    I love gardening, and I love my Roses, and here at Timaru, there is the beautiful Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden on Caroline Bay. Located by Timaru Piazza, this Rose garden has 1,200 roses set out in a well designed garden. The gardens are said to have a representative plant from every main rose family in the world!A big walkway of many steps leads...

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  • Stroll through the Botanic Gardens

    I felt a bit like in Little Christchurch when walking through Timaru’s Botanic Gardens. Little Christchurch, because so many features reminded me of the Gardens of the big city, the nice lawns to stroll around, duck ponds, a beautiful rose garden, large mature trees, a herb and native garden. And still, Timaru’s Botanical Gardens are different, and...

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  • “Bronze”

    This rather new scultpure stands in a small grassy patch at the corner of Stafford Street & The Terrace/Port Loop Road, just off the Piazza.It was unveiled on 26 November 2008.The artist was Debbie Templeton Page, a Tasmanian-born artist who has been living in Timaru for quite some years now. She works from her studio in York Street.The sculpture...

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Timaru Hotels

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Timaru Restaurants

  • South Canterbury's Best Café 2008

    We often stop at the Blue Bay Café in Timaru, mostly just for coffee, a cake or savoury snack from the cabinet, or a soup – and you do not get a lot more, as the menu is rather small. The quality of the coffees and food is good – but the main reason for loving this place is its location, overlooking Caroline Bay. On a nice day you can see as far as...

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  • Best dining in Timaru - bar none

    Great food at reasonable prices in a stunning character building. The menu has something for everyone, and includes a selection of vegetarian dishes. The staff are friendly and helpful and the servings are generous.It's warm and cosy in the colder months. In summer the outside dining area is sheltered and sunny. It's hard for me to go past "Blue...

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  • great Coffee & a Library

    friendly Atmosphere with fantastic food.....also for Vegetrians, and they put something together what ever you like in no time.....Internet Access to very reasonable price too....you got to ask, might have changedor for Internet go to the Library, just a block away...even cheaper, Latte with a vegetarien foccacio bread, garnished with egg and...

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Timaru Nightlife

  • tinkabel's Profile Photo

    by tinkabel Written May 4, 2003

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    There are several good places to go on a Saturday night in Timaru.
    The Loaded Hog, the Shed,BarXL or the Sail are usually the places to be. Most play a selection of popular music, and sometimes there maybe a live band....this will be advertised around town a couple of weeks in advanced. All bars have a selection of drinks ranging from Local beers on tap (Speights, Export Gold, Steinlager) most are Cheaper than Auckland prices!!! (as my auckland mates found out!) as well as a selction of spirits.. all at pretty reasonble prices..
    you MUST be 18 to get into most of these places...
    the Loaded Hog as meals as well so only asks for ID when a drink is being served.

    Dress Code: Dress code is tidy...No steel capped boots,
    Alot of the girls dress up...guys can be seen wearing everything from Jeans to dresspants, its really up to the bouncer at the door ....

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Timaru Transportation

  • the Southerner

    unfortunatly, the Southerner does not run anymore, in Febr. 2002 it had its last journey from Picton to Invercargill....have a look at the intro map...that long beautiful stretch, mostly along the South Island coast, is fallen to coast cuttings by Trainsrail...these days they call themselfs TOLLMy Journey from Invercargil to Christchurch is a very...

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  • Your own two feet.

    As Timaru is not all that big, you can probably get around on your own two feet in the central city. A car would be very usefull if you intend to see a bit more of the region. There are four bus routes that travel from the main street area out to the suburbs, there are plenty of Taxi companys avalible, try Budget Cabs for friendly cheap service.

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  • Timaru Hotels

    12 Hotels in Timaru

    73 Reviews and Opinions

Timaru Shopping

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    by timaru74 Written Jan 5, 2004

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    Danny's Internet Cafe is the main internet cafe in Timaru. He charges only nz$5 per hour.
    You can also of course have a coffee or a feed while you are there.

    see: www.timaru.info for his site

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Study Abroad
    • Backpacking

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Timaru Local Customs

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    Winter rose blossom in the Botanic Garden.

    by Kakapo2 Written Jun 1, 2009

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    The Festival of Roses is one of the big annual events in town. It takes place on eight days each November. The dates for 2009 are 20 to 29 November. The theme for the 2009 is: The Four Corners of the Earth.

    It is held to celebrate the arrival of summer and the city’s special love for the rose. Timaru’s pride is the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden in Caroline Bay, just off the city centre. And there is also a nice Rose Garden in the Botanical Gardens.

    During the Festival of Roses you can get into a lot of activities, like organised walks, talks, tours, exhibitions and displays, art, theatre, as well as competitions, shows and family fun. Please note that you need tickets for some of the events.

    The highlight of the Festival is the Roses on the Bay Market Day with 150 stalls, all day entertainment, and food. A small fee for tickets applies, children free.

    Related to:
    • Festivals
    • Arts and Culture
    • Eco-Tourism

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Timaru What to Pack

  • Wam gear for Winter and Summer

    Always pack wollen gear when travelling in winter, can get VERY cold. although warmer in the afternoons. Expect frosts in the winter mornings. In summer a swimsuit is a good thing to have, especailly with all the RIvers and Beachs avaible to swin at. A good pair of walking shoes would also be of use. you can walk almost everywhere in Timaru,...

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  • Wam gear

    Always take warm gear, woolen sweeter, Gloves and hat in winter. In summer always have a sweeter JUST IN CASE, good pair of walking shoes, as you can walk most places within the hour. and there are a couple of good tramping trips within an hours drive away. Most easy to buy

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Timaru Off The Beaten Path

  • What the Phark is this?

    You might wonder what the phark is this? Even this word (phark) I write and you have never heard before.No, no, this is not correct. You HAVE heard it before. You have only not read it this way.Read it out loud – with a long a and neglecting the r - and you will know.I assure you, I normally do not even use this word. Believe it or not. Better not....

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  • Phar Lap Memorial for the greatest Race...

    You will not just drive past this memorial even if you visit Timaru. I did not even seen the sign that leads to it for several years – if the sign has always been there… ;-)It is located 5 km east of SH 1. You have to turn off the highway at the northern end of Timaru into Seadown Rd and follow the (yellow) sign, saying “Phar Lap Memorial”.You can...

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  • Lake Tekapo

    Our drive to the Lake started off very good, but by the time we reached Lake Tekapo, the weather was not the best. The wind had come up in this area, and was blowing our Camper Van around, and the Lake, well, it wasn't like any of the lovely photo's I had seen. It was like the ocean with heaps of white caps and not a pretty blue! What a...

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Timaru Sports & Outdoors

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    by fishandchips Written May 7, 2007

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    Aorangi (North Island Moari for Mout Cook) park is the centrepiece for sport in Timaru. The location has a combo cricket (summer) & soccer (winter) filed with a bank going all the way around it for good spectator seating. I've played both sports here over the year travelling from Christchurch for the couple of hours each way. There is also a large Netball complex and very big gym for indoor sport - basketball etc

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel

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Timaru Favorites

  • Visitor Information

    -The Visitor Information Centre (i-site) in Timaru deserves a special mention. Not only because it is located in a beautiful historic building - the Landing Services Building - which you should visit anyway. Also the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly.Surely it helps that Timaru is not overrun with tourists, so normally you and the i-site...

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  • The Talking Cockatoo

    As you might know by now, I am a bird lover. Although I prefer them to live in the wild, I also feel attracted by birds in aviaries – and if only I stand there and express my regrets that they have to live behind bars…It makes me sad when they climb up the meshfences. But as I am no militant bird escape aid and do not carry pliers to cut wires with...

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  • A short History of Timaru

    -The name Timaru derives from the Maori name Te Maru which means: Place of shelter. It once was the only place where Maori, tired from travelling along the dangerous and rocky coastline in their canoes, could find shelter on the way from Banks Peninsula in the north to Oamaru further south.The origins of the European town you see today lie south of...

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