0600 AC

For over 1400 years the Maori knew “Te Maru” as a place of shelter with Cabbage trees and tussock. They left behind 500 sites of Rock Art, mostly in limestone overhangs where they sheltered.

1642 Abel Tasman Arrives

The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to 'discover' New Zealand.

1769 Captain Cook

Captain James Cook anchored off the coast of New Zealand

1839 Whalers

When the whalers arrived there was a Māori hut on the stony beach constructed of whale bone and tussock. The Weller brothers established whaling stations, one at Whalers Creek, later named Caroline Bay after a whaling supply ship.

1848 Walter Mantell

Walter Mantell made a sketch (8 years after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed) of Timaru Coastline when the whaling stations were deserted.

1851 Timaru’s First European House

The sea was colonial New Zealand’s highway which is why Timaru’s architecture and heritage goes hand in hand with our port.

When the land between Ashburton and the Waitaki Rivers was opened up for settlement, the brothers W. B. G. and R. H. Rhodes in 1852 took up the sheep runs known as “The Levels”, which covered the land territory lying between the Opihi and Pareora Rivers. A reserve was left for the future town of Timaru. In the following year the Rhodes purchased 126 acres on the southern side of the reserve which were subdivided for settlement. The Canterbury Provincial Government defined the town boundaries the same year and residents began to arrive. Progress was slow and by 1874 the population was still less than 2,000, chiefly because of the difficulties of access. Port facilities were non-existent and ships were moored out in the open roadstead. Wrecks were frequent. Learn more here

The story begins when George Rhodes used our headland to land stores and materials. He built Timaru’s first house in 1851, it only had three walls! This 20 foot hut stood by the beach (centre of these photos) to service his boat landing for his sheep farm at Levels. He employed the Whaler Samuel Williams who came back to Timaru with his wife Ann and daughter Rebecca and just like that Timaru had it’s first permanent immigrant residents.

The first notable function was in the Rhodes woolshed next door for boxing night 1859 for 120 guests. Williams got the praise for "excellence in catering and his exertions in promoting the prosperity of Timaru". There was no mention of his wife who would have slaved away for days preparing for the event in her rough pioneer kitchen.

In the Districts first electoral role, Samuel Williams appears as a storekeeper householder No 57 in 1858.

In 1860 his wife Anne died and he married the children's governor Mary Ann Gardner who was 25 years younger than him. But the marriage didn't last, they went their separate ways and Sam sold the Timaru Hotel to John Melton in Feb 1865 and left town for several years. The deed of sale used to hang in the library. He returned to Timaru and was buried in the Timaru cemetery 1883 aged 64. He would have been about 24 when he first arrived in Timaru as a whaler.

After Sam moved to his new Timaru Hotel at section 20, Captain Scott (Rhodes business agent) moved to the cottage in 1857 until 1872. It was sold for 14 pounds and demolished to make way for commercial progress.

1851 William & George Rhodes

Brothers William and George Rhodes founded the Levels run. They used the site of an abandoned whaling station, to land stores and ship away wool. Timaru’s first building was a cottage on the beach, and the first permanent inhabitant was Sam Williams, the whaler who introduced George Rhodes to South Canterbury.

1853 Boosted Population

New Zealand experienced a series of major events during the period 1853-1870, which boosted our population. Firstly, the New Zealand Wars brought military settlers. Secondly, the new self-government structure made the Canterbury province responsible for encouraging immigration. And thirdly, there were new economic opportunities of pastoralism and the discovery of gold. Otago’s first gold rush was in 1861 when Gabriel Read found gold. Only a lucky few found riches, and although Timaru was on the fringes, the collective value of the gold kick-started our young New Zealand’s economy.

1855 George & Elizabeth Rhodes move to Levels

George and Elizabeth Rhodes moved to Levels, where their next house had four timber slab walls, a clay floor and a thatched roof. In 1855 some sheep were stolen from the Levels station, by James Mackenzie.

1856 Timaru's First European Baby Born

Our first European baby William Williams was born in this house  in 1856 and slept in a gin crate. A small lean-to was added to accommodate two bunks as Timaru’s first hotel. The first Timaru Herald was published in his kitchen. Sam had the first publican’s licence, and he was even the first to have his pub burn down because someone didn’t like the price charged for beer... bad call as the arsonist was sentenced to death!

1857 Belfield Wollcombe

In marched Lieutenant (later Captain) Belfield Wollcombe in 1857. Often referred to as the grandfather of Timaru, he was the government rep, beach master, health officer, registrar, coroner, returning officer and over seer of public works and magistrate. (That’s a lot of multi-tasking!) He built Timaru’s third house at Ashbury Park.

1857 Belfield Wollcombe arrives in Timaru

Lieutenant (later Captain) Belfield Wollcombe is often referred to as the grandfather of Timaru, he would later claim to be the oldest resident of Timaru. In his time, he was the government rep, beach master, health officer, registrar, coroner, returning officer and over seer of public works and magistrate. He built Timaru’s third house at Ashbury Park. Though the house is long gone today, you can still walk beneath the English trees that he planted on his land that overlooked the Waimataitai estuary at southern end of the park. The Waimataitai Lagoon was later drained and the reclaimed land became Ashbury Park. His eldest daughter was a nurse in the Boer war, and we think was the first to recieve her nursing qualfication in New Zealand, presented by Florence Nightingale.

1857 Captain Cain Arrives in Timaru

Captain Henry Cain (1816 -1886).

This life-like bronze statue by Christchurch's Donald Paterson, sits outside Timaru's Information Centre. A plaque reads: "Henry Cain was born in 1816 and went to sea at the age of 13. After 30yrs of seafaring, he settled in Timaru in March 1857, and opened a general store. The town grew and before long he was operating the first landing service at the foot of Strathallen St. Captain Cain became a prominent businessman and significant public figure, serving as mayor from 1870-1873. He died in 1886, having been poisoned by his son-in-law. For many, Henry Cain represents the pioneering spirit that made Timaru."

In 1857, he was asked by Le Cren to relocate to Timaru to open up a landing service, which he did. This was mainly to service the Rhodes’ huge sheep station, the ‘Levels’, South Canterbury’s first farm. 

Pages Road used to be called Halls Road, and after the guilty verdict, renamed to Pages Rd. Captain Cain's wife turned the first sod for the railway from Timaru to Temuka. There is a Statue of Captain Cain outside the Landing Services Building.

1858 First Landing Service Opens

The first landing service opened at the bottom of Strathallan Street. It was bought by the government in the mid-1860s and used for the first shipment of wool direct to England. Entrepreneurs later set up a private service in competition. The George Street landing service building is one of Timaru’s oldest structures.

1859 Strathallan

January 1858 the Strathallan, Timaru’s first direct immigrant ship from the UK leaves the UK for Timaru.

1859 The Strathallan Immigrant Ship Arrives

On The Strathallan, a lady wrote; if Timaru was a third of the size of London she would be happy. Imagine the look on her face when she arrived in 1859, and saw only 5 houses and about 19 locals! The ship was two weeks early and caught our towns folk off guard, so the new locals had to sleep in the wool shed until their homes were built. They were joined by a further 360 immigrants between 1862 and 1863. By 1866 the town had a population of 1,000, and it became a borough in 1868.

1860 Morris Corey, Robert Boubius first to be buried in Timaru cemetery

A group of six experienced boat handlers who had emigrated from England to Lyttelton, were engaged in 1859 for work on Le Cren and Cain's landing service. The men were John Wilds, Morris Corey, Robert Boubius, Henry Clayson, William John Roberts and John J. Bowles. Being a boatman was a dangerous profession, and Morris and Robert were the first to be buried in Timaru cemetery after drowning off Timaru in 1860. Clayson drowned soon after his arrival and was replaced by Phillip Foster, also from Deal.

1860s Plans Stars for Artificial Harbour

The landing services were restricting the port’s growth. They initiated plans for an artificial harbour to provide wharves and a safe haven for ships. Opponents thought that because Christchurch’s port at Lyttelton was soon to be linked by rail south to Timaru, a local harbour was unnecessary. But the scheme went ahead, as advocates believed that without its own harbour, the town would decline.

1861 Andrew and Catherine Burnett arrive to Timaru

In 1861 a pioneering couple set off from Scotland for the other side of the world. Catherine MacKay 1837-1914 and Andrew Burnett 1838-1927 travelled by bullock wagon and camped at Perth Street, Timaru. They later planted an oak tree there. The Burnetts' first home at Mt Cook station was a "one-room hut of black birch logs plastered with clay and thatched with snowgrass." Thier youngest son Thomas David (TD) represented Temuka in Parliament until he died in 1941. He left in his will the Perth Street property to The South Canterbury Historical Society. It was TD's wish that any new building on the site be named Pioneer Hall, so the Historical Society gave that name to their new museum on the site. In 1966 the museum building was replaced with a new building in the iconic octagonal design by Ron Dohig. Next time you are at the museum, seek out a boulder with a plaque. You will find it under the oak tree planted by the pioneers all those years ago.

1863 Cobb & Co Timaru & Christchurch Route opened

A Cobb & Co route between Timaru and Christchurch opened. Their first Christchurch booking office/drop off point was at Triangle Corner (Triangle Centre), at Cashel Street & Sumner Road (High Street). Altogether, a stagecoach could carry 14 passengers at maximum. 6 to 9 persons inside, 5 on exterior seating. This could depend on what model or make. Cobb & Co in New Zealand was started by Charles Cole, arriving at Dunedin in 1861. With him he had 1 coach, 5 wagons and 54 horses.

1864 Botanic Gardens Timaru

Land first set aside as a reserve.

1866 Acclimatization Societies

Society is formed and a year later introduce bird species such as pheasant, blackbirds, thrushes and starlings.

1868 Disasters

1868 fire destroys 39 central Timaru wooden building requiring huge rebuild effort and forever transforming Timaru with a resulting unique architecture. 1868 almost the entire East Coast of South Island flooded including devastation in South Canterbury. February 1945 devastating flooding in South Canterbury similar to that of 1868. March 1986 widespread flooding and damage across Levels Plains, Washdyke and surrounding areas like Pareora, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Geraldine.

1868 First Mayor Samuel Hewlings

Timaru started as two towns Government Town and Rhodes Town, which is why the roads are out of line at intersections along North Street. Government town was laid out by Samuel Hewlings, he was our first Mayor 1868-1870.

1868 Great Fire in CDB

In the same year Timaru became a Borough, an accidental fire got picked up by a warm and blustery nor west wind in 1868, destroying 39 wooden buildings, two thirds of the business part of town. What had contributed to the advance in trade and prosperity of the port and district was now reduced to brick chimneys and embers. Unfortunately not everyone was insured. There were about 1250 dewellings in the borough. The fire transformed the town to more fire resistant Bluestone, brick and stone. Tenders were won to design and build our significant architectural heritage of our city which you can appreciate on a stroll through town.

1870 Quarrying

Late 1800s through early 1900s multiple quarries in Timaru with the most notable being those in the Scenic Reserve or Centennial Park. Rail lines that carried rock to port from this area finally decommissioned fully by 1959. By 1935 moves to create the Scenic Reserve, shortly renamed Centennial park, began. From 1988 group formed to create the park reserve, lake, bridges and planting we know today. http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/editors-picks/8611892/Scenic-park-full-of-beauty-and-history

1871 First Bay Built for Landing Service Building

Landing Service Building (Former) No. 326. C1. 2 George St. First bay built in 1871. Timaru had a landing services building owned by the Government which was run by Captain Cain. Cain went on to build a competitive service with Le Cren out of blue stone with high arches to winch boats through. It become redundant when the first breakwater was built and was then used for nearly a century by  the "Loan and Merc" and then Dalgety Ltd to store goods. It’s the only example in Australasia. Here you will find the statue of Captain Cain, the second Mayor Timaru. The towns population was around 3000 when he was poisoned by his greedy son-in-law.

1871 First Sod Turned for Temuka to Timaru Railway

The railway helped accelerate progress after the first sod for the Temuka to Timaru railway was turned by the Mayoress, Mrs Cain in 1871.

1874 24 immigrant families move to Peeress Town

The town was only supposed to be a temporary settlement, for 24 immigrant families who arrived on the Peeress Ship in 1874. But with nowhere else to go, many families stayed on. After a typhoid breakout, eventually the town was emptied and the buildings razed, leaving the former residents to find new homes. The area at Patiti Point has been a place for shelter for many hundreds of years. Moa bones and a moa hunter’s necklace found in the area are thought to be more than 800 years old. In the 1830’s the area was also used as a whaling site when the Weller Brothers established a short-lived whaling station there. Samuel Williams, who features in some of our other stories about Timaru’s history, was part of this crew. A whale pot (for rendering blubber) at the current-day carpark is a reminder of this part of the area’s history.

1875 Main Trunk Line Reached Washdyke

The South Island Main Trunk Line reached Washdyke. From here the Fairlie Branch line was begun, reaching Pleasant Point in December 1875

1876 New Gas Street Lights

The street lighting used to be lit by hand. 1876 saw Timaru’s new gas street lights replace the kerosene lamps. Stafford street glowed under 1000 candlepower gas lamps in 1907. Electric light came in 1926. Before the streets were sealed, they would get very slippery and muddy when it rained, they would scoop the mud and put it along the side of the road, if you were not careful you could step knee deep into the mud in the dark.

1878 Blacketts Lighthouse

Blacketts Lighthouse is constructed on the Terrace above the Port

1878 Work Began to Construct Southern breakwater

Work began to construct the 700-metre southern breakwater. In the late 1880s, the north breakwater was built to keep sand shoals out of the harbour. Between 1899 and 1906 the eastern extension of the main breakwater was completed, preventing shingle drifting north into the harbour. During the 20th century the breakwaters were extended, realigned and raised.

1879 Cecil Wood Builds Petrol Engine

1879 Timaruvian Cecil Wood builds a petrol engine. This came after making an unsubstantiated claim to have built and driven and built a 3 wheeled car in 1896 and 4 wheel car in 1898. His first substantiated car build was in 1901. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry_in_New_Zealand

1882 First Attempt Made on Aoraki/Mt Cook

The first attempt was made on Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain (3,754 metres). It was first climbed by the New Zealanders Tom Fyfe, George Graham and Jack Clarke in 1894. In 1948 a young climber, Edmund Hillary, was on the first ascent of the mountain’s south ridge. Five years later he and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to conquer Mt Everest. The face-climbing era that began in the 1950s culminated in the 1970 first ascent of the Caroline Face.

1884 Fairlie Flyer First Journey

Fairlie flyer steam train has it's first journey

1885 Freezing Works Established

The first freezing works was established at Timaru. Before this a meat preserving works was located at Washdyke.

1886 Sheep

Peak numbers of 70 million in 1982. 1851 First sheep run setup at Levels by the Rhodes family. In 1853 the second followed, setup by William Hornbrook at Arowhenua. https://teara.govt.nz/en/south-canterbury-region/page-5South Canterbury Refrigeration Company formed in Timaru in 1883, built the freezing works in 1885. In 1886 first direct wool shipment from nz directly to England (which became the dominant export destination) left Timaru. https://teara.govt.nz/en/south-canterbury-region/page-10Works were rebuilt in the 1890s and opened at Smithfield in 1898.

1891 Bob Fitzsimmons won First Boxing World Title

Bob Fitzsimmons, won his first world title. He is the only New Zealander ever to win the world heavyweight boxing title, was educated and worked as a young man in South Canterbury.

1893 Air travel

1903 Richard Pearse Flies. A small public airport was developed at Washdyke in 1920, a small commercial airport at Saltwater Creek in 1931. A new airport built at current Levels site in 1953. Regular service between Christchurch, Oamaru and Timaru in 1956. The need for this ended with improvements to SH1 but Timaru to Wellington flights remain today.

1893 Universal Suffrage was Introduced for Women

Universal suffrage is introduced for women aged over 21 (including Māori). New Zealand becomes the first self-governing country to grant the right to vote to all adult women. nzhistory.govt.nz

1896 Bob Fitsimmons wins the heavyweight boxing title

Bob Fitsimmons wins the heavyweight boxing title becoming the first in a wide and diverse group of Timaru sporting champions.

1896 Cecil Woods built New Zealand's first motor vehicle

Cecil Woods of Timaru built the first motor vehicle in New Zealand, laying the foundations in Timaru for a NZ car industry. In 1899 he built New Zealand's first motorbike. Mrs Meikle has the dubious honour of being the first person to be killed in a motor accident in the Timaru district.

1896 High Growth in Popluation

From there was relatively high growth, linked to increased farming in the region. 

1901 Cecil Wood made New Zealand's first motorcycle

Cecil Walkden Wood (28 March 1874 – 1965) was a New Zealand engineer from Timaru who made New Zealand's first motorcycle in 1901 and second known indigenous car in 1902. He also provided an engine to Richard Pearse for his airplane.

1902 NZ Flag Adopted

New Zealand adopts its official national flag.

1903 Richard Pearse first flight

Richard Pearse become famous for being one the first people on earth to leave the ground in a powered aircraft. Nine months before the Wright Brothers. Timaru Airport is named after him.

1905 The Grants move to Aigantighe

Before it became a gallery, it was originally the home of Alexander and Helen Grant. The Grants were Scottish immigrants who farmed a rural high country station, Gray’s Hill. They wanted a house in town for their retirement, so in 1905 they built “Aigantighe”, a Scottish Gaelic term for “Welcome to our home”. Helen lived in the house until she was 101, and it was her wish for it to become a gallery. After she died, her family gifted the house to the City of Timaru and it has been used as a gallery ever since.

1906 Alpine Energy began

Alpine Energy began in March 1906 when the Timaru Borough Council entered into a contract with Scott Brothers of Christchurch to light the town with electricity. The price for this contract was £750 per year for four hours of light per night – except when the moon shone. In 1915 the council purchased the Scott Brothers’ electricity generator and a year later another generator was installed and about 580 customers had been signed up.

All electricity developments were in town until 1921 when a meeting of country delegates decided to form a South Canterbury Electric Power Board. The board set about forming a viable electricity supply enterprise across the province. The South Canterbury Electric Power Board and the Timaru Borough Council agreed for the power board to purchase the town supply. However, the town’s residents voted against the proposal. From that day, February 29, 1924, the Timaru Electricity Department and the power board continued on their separate paths. The Timaru Borough Council purchased all of its electricity from the SC Electric Power Board. This was from the Lake Coleridge power station supply which was made available at Temuka for distribution throughout Timaru and South Canterbury.


1906 Rodolph Wigley founded the Mt Cook Motor Service

In 1906, Rodolph Wigley founded the Mt Cook Motor Service, which leased the Hermitage hotel from the government between 1922 and 1945, and became a major tourist company. In 1955 his son, Harry Wigley, landed a ski-equipped plane on the Tasman Glacier, starting a new era in tourism at Aoraki/Mt Cook.

1911 Caroline Bay

First formed after creation of port breakwaters, the area was decided to be created into a “European style beach resort” from 1902. From 1911 the annual Christmas carnivals began. 1937 sound shell replaced the initial band rotunda. 

1911 First Summer Carnival

First summer carnival is held at Caroline Bay. 

1916 John Blackham went to Egypt for WW1

26 Preston Street was home to Elizabeth Blackham and her family. Several of Elizabeth and Richard’s sons enlisted and served overseas with the NZ Armed Forces: Rifleman John Blackham, Private William Blackham, Private Harry Blackham, and BQMS George Thomas Blackham. John trained and worked as a motor and cycle mechanic. In 1915 he was 31, single, living at home with his mother and siblings, and working at Brehaut Brothers Cycle & Motor Dealers in Timaru. On 15 September John’s battalion took part in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. According to the records, John was shot in both in left thigh and his right shoulder. Although he was evacuated and moved to a hospital in England, sadly John died from his wounds on 26 of September. He wrote his will in his pay book, leaving all his possessions to his siblings.

1918 Influenza Pandemic

The H1N1 strain of influenza pandemic swept the world and struck New Zealand between October and December 1918, just at the war's end. No other event has killed so many New Zealanders in so short a time. In only two months, about 9,000 New Zealanders died — about half as many as in the whole of the First World War. The only way to avoid catching the virus was by keeping out of contact with other people. There were no flu vaccinations available, and no antibiotics for those who fell ill. The influenza epidemic became New Zealand’s forgotten disaster, as people tried to forget the horror of the First World War.

1920 First Public Airport

South Canterbury’s first public airport was formed at Washdyke

1921 Bill Hamilton Pioneered A Jet-boat

Farmer and engineer Bill Hamilton bought the Irishman Creek station and pioneered a jet-boat for use on the shallow rivers of the area. He also built earth-moving machinery at Irishman Creek. In 1942 the firm moved to Christchurch to become a major New Zealand firm, Hamilton Jet.

1926 Phar Lap Horse is born

Phar Lap was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse whose achievements captured the Australian public's imagination during the early years of the Great Depression. Foaled in Timaru, he was trained and raced in Australia by Harry Telford. 1930 - 1932, Phar Lap won 32 of his 35 races. The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. Martini Henry was the first New Zealand-bred horse to win the race, in 1883. As of 2014, 41 New Zealand-bred horses have claimed victory in the great race.

1928 Waitaki Dam

36 m high and built 1928 to 1934. The last dam in New Zealand to be built with pick and shovel and not heavy machinery and the first of the upper Waitaki hydro system. This was deliberate as government wanted men in employment and at its peak 1200 workers were involved. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/waitaki-dam

1936 Jack Lovelock, wins 1500m

Jack Lovelock, wins the 1,500-metre race (in world-record time) at the Berlin Olympics, was schooled at Temuka, Fairlie and Timaru. He received an oak sapling with his medal, and the mature tree still stands at Timaru Boys’ High School.

1937 Irrigation

Levels Plains Irrigation scheme began in 1937. Opuha Dam completed in November 1998.

1941 South Canterbury Museum is established

The South Canterbury Museum is established by the South Canterbury Historical Society on a site bequeathed by T.D.Burnett in 1941.

1946 Earth dam built on Lake Pukaki

Earth dam built on Lake Pukaki as part of the Waitaki hydroelectric power scheme. Construction began in 1946 and was completed in 1951. It was the first earth dam of the type built by the Public Works Department. The Mackenzie District has New Zealand’s highest mountains, and its waters have become one of the country’s most important sources of energy.

1948 NZ Citizenship was established

New Zealand Citizenship was established. Until this Act came into force, people born in New Zealand were British subjects but not New Zealand citizens. Almost all children subsequently born in New Zealand would become citizens. ‘Good character’ remained necessary for those seeking naturalisation – Communist leanings or affiliation ruled out some applicants in the early 1950s. Only about 10 per cent of British-born immigrants who arrived between 1948 and 1951 chose to register, as they had little practical reason to do so. In 1959 the process for registering Commonwealth citizens as New Zealand citizens was tightened – the criteria for registration became basically the same as those for naturalisation. - nzhistory.govt.nz

1948 Timaru Became a City

Timaru became a city

1956 Aigantighe Art Gallery established

The Aigantighe Art Gallery was established

1963 Meat Loader Built at the Port

An all-weather meat loader was built at the Timaru Port to service the export demand of the South Canterbury and MacKenzie community. A second northern breakwater allowed land to be reclaimed for cargo storage and a fish processing factory

1970s Four new Power Stations Went Online

The possibility of using the rivers and lakes of the Mackenzie Country to generate electricity was recognised in 1904. Construction of the Upper Waitaki power scheme began after the Benmore and Aviemore stations on the lower Waitaki had been built. A construction town was built at Twizel, and a canal took Lake Tekapo water to a new powerhouse on the shore of Lake Pūkaki. Beyond Pūkaki, the flows from Lakes Tekapo, Pūkaki and Ōhau were combined to flow through three more power stations. Lake Pūkaki has been raised by a total of 37 metres (trebling its volume) and a new lake, Ruataniwha, was formed by a dam on the Ōhau River.

The four new stations had a combined capacity of 848,000 kilowatts, and came online through the 1970s and early 1980s. The scheme is important to New Zealand as a whole: more than 50% of the country’s hydroelectric storage is in Lakes Tekapo and Pūkaki.

1972 Port Loop Rd Opened

Port Loop road opened 1972 a uniquely engineered solution to trucking goods out of Timaru port which eased heavy traffic off of Strathallan Street and the town centre.

1972 Roads & Rail

1872 Rangitata bridged at Arundel, and this bridge remained the only crossing until 1930s when bridges at Rangitata Island (now SH1) were put in. Waitaki was bridged in 1877 Timaru linked to Dunedin and Christchurch with completion of rail link in 1878. The line was opened to Pleasant Point by 1875 and to Fairlie by 1884 https://teara.govt.nz/en/south-canterbury-region/page-7

1976 First Brew Produced by Mainland Brewery

The first brew was produced by Mainland Brewery (now DB Brewery) and famous for it's DB Draught beer is one of the largest employers in the Timaru District contributing significantly to the local economy.

2 million years ago

The source of Timaru’s basalt flowed from Mt Horrible to the sea creating rolling hills, a reef and the source of our buildings bluestone. When the glaciers were in full swing 250,000 years ago, a fine silt called loess blew over South Canterbury and formed our clay cliffs. Old seashells formed into hard and smooth calcium rock called Limestone. The Basalt, Limestone and Clay are the foundations of Timaru geology and architecture.

2001 Dairy

2001 merger of New Zealands largest dairy companies and creation of Fonterra. Responsible for around 30% of world dairy exports, Fonterra is New Zealands largest company. Clandeboye. Milk powder first produced 1997. Largest butter producer in world, one of worlds largest milk driers and employs more than 3000. http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/editors-picks/6781889/Inside-Clandeboye

2001 Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden Opens

Opened in December 2001, the garden was established to preserve and honour the collection of old roses gathered over a lifetime by the celebrated rosarian Trevor Griffiths. Designed by the Christchurch architect Sir Miles Warren, the garden comprises a series of geometric beds radiating from the central pergola - clearly seen from the piazza above. The design has strong lines created by the use of steel structures - gazebos and central pergola while arbours link the whole. A small fountain pool and classical bronze figure forms the centerpiece. A planting plan identifies 1150 roses. Besides the old roses English roses are planted in twos and threes to provide continuous flowering with a gradual progression of colour from one end of the garden to the other. December, when the ramblers and noisettes are in flower, is spectacular. The garden was gifted debt free to the community and maintained by the Timaru District Council and volunteers.