Free Fun Inspiration

Free fun things to do in Timaru!

  1. Pick up the WuHoo Timaru Scenic Route and be a tourist for the day visiting our 10 favourite spots! 

  2. Print off WuHoo Timaru's Colourful Facts: Learn about Timaru's heritage, culture and environment. Download our colouring in pages with facts.

  3. Visit Heritage Place in the Timaru CBD, get a selfie with an old captain and learn about why we made a monument to him. Around the corner of the historic Landing Services Building is a history sign board. And on the railway side is a plaque commemorating the site of Timaru's first European house.

  4. While wondering around town see if you can spot some street art. Timaru Trails has a Street Art tour here that includes work by Flox, Toothfish, Kaos and Aroha Novak.

  5. Pop in and see the team at the Timaru Information Centre to pick up some FREE WuHoo Timaru handouts. For a fee you can explore the Ngāi Tahu Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre. They have a museum and you can also arrange a guided tour to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors to iconic Māori rock art sites. You can visit some of these site yourself for free, check out some of the public Rock Art site list here

  6. See if you can visit all 43 TDC playgrounds maintained by the Timaru District Council. Some are epic and some need some love. But to be honest our kids thought each one was an adventure. We created a sheet with the address's of all the playgrounds and some challenges for you to try and conquer.

  7. Wonder around the Timaru Business Centre (CBD) and enjoy the beautiful old buildings. If you want to learn about the stories they could tell check out our CBD Heritage Walk

  8. Visit the plaque at the port end of the Strathallan St. We have a colourful fact sheet to help you learn about the first immigrant ship to sail direct from the UK to Timaru. The Strathallan Over 160 years ago, Timaru’s first ship of immigrants arrived. Ever wondered what they experienced and what they found when they got here? learn about the journey here : Download: Strathallan.pdf

  9. Learn about the 1868 fire that decimated the town and how it impacted the street scene we see today: 1868 Timaru CBD Fire Colouring sheet Download Here.pdf See if you can spot the flames on the Strathallan and Stafford St Corner

  10. Explore the Timaru Botanic Gardens with a WuHoo Timaru Scavenger Hunt smell the roses, hugs some trees, have a game of tennis, feed the ducks some frozen peas, see the cockatoos, swing, slide and climb at the playground. Find different coloured leaves in the native bush and arrange in mandala circular patterns. We love exploring the hot house and finding banana trees, plants that devour flys, and finding the silver fern pungas in ther fernery.

  11. Find the species Rose Garden is at the Timaru Botanic Gardens, can you find a rose flower or hip? It's the 2nd largest collection in the Southern Hemisphere. The famous York rose is here. Follow the Shakespeare trail through the gardens and see where the snipets of his writing leads you.

  12. Learn about the gardens birds you can see in Timaru with our WuHoo Timaru, colouring sheet with Interesting facts Download Complex.pdf  |  Simple.pdf then see if you can identify these when you are out and about.

  13. While you are at the Timaru Botanic Gardens look for native and introduced bees. We have a colourful fact sheet to help you identify them and learn about their differences and why we need them and how to be a bee ambassaor Download: Bees.pdf Check the leaf cutter bee hives by the Tea Rooms and see if you can spot tiny leafy cucoons in the cardboard tubes.

  14. Take some paper, crayons, felts, paint or pencils and make rubbings of bark and leaves, and be inspired by what you see to create a work of art. Please remember not to damage or remove plants from the garden. 

  15. Smell the salty air at the rugged Patiti Point and make some wild art. Collect a range of coloured stones from the shoreline and arrange into a rainbow, check out the coastal track with your legs or wheels, spy the art history signs along the way. Up at the car park is an original whaling tri pot found in the area. The Whalers were the first Europoeans to live here, including Samuel Williams (Yankie Sam) and his mates, Long John Coffin and Billy the Bull. They worked for the Sydney-based Weller brothers established a short-lived whaling station here one on the boulder beach below Timaru's clay cliffs at Timaru in 1839. They also pulled whales up ashore at Caroline Bay. But at the time the sea reached the cliffs and there was a small stream call Pohatu koko, nicked named Whales Creek. The site is commemorated by a whale pot at the viaduct entrance under the rail way bridge. The Wellers’ bankruptcy ended shore whaling there in 1841. Some say that Caroline Bay was named after a whale supply ship. The famous Tik-Tok hit was born from a sea shanty that could have been sung at the these shores - The early whalers could have sung "Soon May The Wellerman Come" here, in Timaru during the early years of European settlement more than 180 years ago. When the whaling stations fell over, Samuel Williams went to Akaroa to work as a farmhand where he told the Rhodes brothers there was good land down here. They came and established Levels Station. Samuel returned and lived in a cottage near the Landing Service building.

  16. Collect beach stones and take them home to paint. You could keep them or hide them in public parks for people to stumble across and find. We like to use test pots of house paint, as they last longer in the environment, and we avoid sticking things onto the rocks that could become rubbish. Note that people like to leave special rocks at the Cemetery, and these should be left where they are. Check out: Timaru Rocks.

  17. It sounds grim, but exploring the gravestones at The Timaru Cemetery is pretty intresting. Timaru Trails has a free app that you can download to learn about the people who rest there. See if you can find Samuel Williams (Yankie Sam's) grave, the whaler who was the father of the first Timaru's first European Baby. 

  18. Find mini beasts in the Ōtipua Wetlands & Saltwater Creek, we like to sample some water with a ice cream container and see what we can find swimming in the water. Watch the birds and spy different plants that help to sponge up the water and filter it before it reaches the shore. There is a "lava cliff" that flowed to here 2 million years ago. When the wetland is dry, you can walk out onto the mud and see the foot prints of creatures and try to work out whose they could be. The creek has a walking/cycling track that connects to the Coastal Track and up to Centennial Park.

  19. Tuhawaiki (Jack's) Point nd the lighthouse is a really cool spot to venture out to. Named after a Ngai Tahu cheif who drowned here. You can walk, run or bike and it's also dog friendly. Please ensure any dogs are under control as you may see penguins and seals on the rocky beach. You can start at either the Scarborough or Ellis Rd end. There is more car parking space at the Ellis Rd end. It's a 5km return trip if you walk to either end, or just walk out to the lighthouse and back for a shorter stroll. Known as Hone Tūhawaiki, or Jack Tūhawaiki, or by his nickname of "Bloody Jack" was a leader, whaler, mariner, trader. He was coming north in a whaleboat by night, and a boy on board wanting a drink of water, he steered for the shore at a place called Mutu–mutu, where there was a spring of fresh water… He had slightly misjudged his position in the dark, and found when close inshore that he was almost on the reef. Having the steer oar, he swung the boat clear, but was himself knocked overboard and drowned. He was about 40 at the time and was one of more than 500 chefs who signed the The Treaty of Waitangi ( in 1840, New Zealand’s founding document. Hone Tūhawaiki signed the Herald (Bunbury) sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi on 10 June 1840 on board HMS Herald, which was anchored off Ruapuke Island. There is a lovely bench in tribute to musician Rangi Gillespie, who loved to surf here and motorcycle crash in 2019.
  20. Zig Zag your way down into an old lava quarry at Centennial Park! The basalt was cut and trucked to build the port, protect the coastline from erosion and to construct homes and buildings. See how many quarries you can find along the walking and biking tracks, there is even a site where the oldest moa bones in NZ were discovered at the Western end. This is a great spot to take your bike and there's a range of challenges to suit ages and abilities. Your pooch will love it there too. There are 5 sites with play equipment, public BBQs, fruit trees and even a hot spring if you know where to look! 

  21. Go at low tide and investigate the creatures in the rock pools at Waitarakao Washdyke Lagoon - we found an octopus there! This is on the north side of Timaru at the top of the Showgrounds Hill drive down Bridge Rd, towards the Smithfield Freezing works, park before the railway bridge . There is a stile that leads to a walking track that usually heads around to the right back towards Timaru and rock pools at low tide at Smith Beach.

  22. Knock on a red door of the iconic and heritage listed 1877 Blackett Lighthouse. There is a brass rubbing stop here, and access to Waimataitai beach and Caroline Bay via stairs. See if you can find metal in the basalt rocks from the Ben Venue shipwreck that is now buried below the sand. Our kids love the challenge of clambering around on the rocks.

  23. The lighthouse has a interesting story that you can learn and colour in: Download: TimaruLightHouse.pdf

  24. Dashing Rocks is the the cliff that you can see from the lighthouse, and it has a neat wee walk to a small bay and then Waitarakoa Washdyke Lagoon. It takes about an hour and if you are lucky, you could see Hector's dolphins, penguins, whales, seals and sea lions. Turn turn right up Climie Terrace, over a white footbridge and along the top of the cliffs. You'll reach a small bay and a paddock at the back of Smithfield Beach (just before the freezing works). You can go over this and go through the paddock walk up Westcott Street, and back down Richmond Street or continue on to the lagoon.

  25. Take on the Spy100 Caroline Bay Scavenger Hunt Challenge - copies are at the Information Centre and South Canterbury Museum. Caroline Bay is a brilliant spot for paddle, body board, you can even swim out to the pontoon and slide into the sea! From time to time curious dolphins investigate the area.

  26. Visit Marine Parade on the edge of Caroline Bay around dusk to see the smallest penguins in the world waddle ashore to the their nests in the rocks.

  27. Go for a swim or paddle at Caroline Bay: South Island’s most popular beach. It is our families favorite swimming spot, and one of the jewels in Timaru’s crown. Recently voted most popular beach in the South Island, Caroline Bay is a sheltered sandy beach ideal for anyone who loves a dip (resident penguins included). Over the warmer months you can swim out to the pontoon which has two slides to fire you into the salty sea. With beach boardwalks, public artworks, free barbeques and playgrounds, this sandy beach is a great place to relax and hang out. Walk the coastline, have a picnic, or spend the day. If you’re here in December, be sure not to miss the annual summer carnival – it’s a major highlight on South Canterbury’s calendar.

  28. If the sand is not your thing, the paddling pool at the Caroline Bay Playground is a neat spot for the young kiddies. Or for a fee you can make at splash at CBay Swimming Pool on Te Weka St. here’s a 25-metre lane pool, a leisure and toddlers’ pool, two hydroslides, a café – a spa, sauna and steam room. Our community pools in Timaru, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Geraldine are all open from November to March. We set a family goal to swim at Timaru, Temuka and Geraldine pools in the school holidays. We have some great spots for a dip at our local rivers and lakes. Popular swimming spots include the Opihi, Temuka, Rangitata, Orari and Pareora Rivers. Inland from Geraldine, you will also find Lake Opuha which is great for swimming, boating, waterskiing and fishing. At certain times of the year, there can be toxic algae present in some waterways, therefore, we advise checking the Lawa website for safe swimming spots:

  29. Spy Penguins at Caroline Bay.

  30. Hit some tennis balls at Caroline Bay Playground free to use tennis courts or the ones beside the hospital at the Timaru Botanic Gardens. Or if you have a few gold coins in your pocket you can play at the Desmin Unwin Centre on Benvenue Ave behind the Swimming Pool (for a fee)
  31. The Aigantighe Art Gallery has a neat sculpture garden to explore, the team usually have activities for kids inside, and of course stunning exhibitions from the permanent collection and guest artists. We love playing hide and seek in the garden under the 100 year old trees, some are so special that they are protected. The House was gifted to the people of Timaru by the Grant family to be used as an art gallery and house the public art collection founded by the South Canterbury Arts Society.

  32. Read up about the history of the Aigantighe Art Gallery, and visit the old house and many of the trees that the former owners planted. Home history: Aigantighe

  33. Check out the WuHoo Timaru Sculpture Hunt and see if you can complete the challenges at the Aigantighe Sculpture Garden and around town.

  34. Say hi to the lovely team at the South Canterbury Museum. You can sign your kids up to their free explorers club. Kids get a lanyard to pin badges to. There are awesome exhibits to help us connect to our stories of the past and environment. Look up and you'll see Richard Pearses' replica plane - some say he was the first in the world to fly, beating the White Brothers by 9 months. Our kids love steering the sailing ship and spotting the stowaway rat. There  exhibits are set out as a timeline and give you a great base of knowledge about Timaru's key milestones and culture. There are also displays about our geology, flora and fauna, including an extinct owl where Timaru was it's last strong hold.

  35. Go on a tree tour because trees love a hug and some appreciation. We've started visiting them and taking photos, you can see them and a map here. Take a book and Read a book under a brilliant tree.

  36. In the 1980s a brass rubbing trail was established. I remember having a special passport to collect my rubbings in. We have made a wee printable version that you can download and print off here.

  37. Check out the roses at the Timaru Botanic Gardens and Caroline Bay. At the Botanic Garden in Timaru, you will find the Anderson Rose Garden, the Heritage Rose Garden and The species rose collection is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and has recently had a path make over to improve the accessibility. Can you find a rose flower or hip? It's the 2nd largest collection in the Southern Hemisphere. The famous York rose is here. The Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden at Caroline Bay has a more modern collection. Opened in December 2001, the garden was established to preserve and honor the collection of old roses gathered over a lifetime by the celebrated rosarian Trevor Griffiths. Designed by the Christchurch architect Sir Miles Warren. You can see them all year round at various life cycles, and flowering from November until July. 

  38. Print off the Rose Colourful Fact sheet to learn about Roses, how they are connected to the pine cone, and colouring in an original design by Roselyn Cloake, based on the roses geometry.

  39. Visit Claremont Bush at the bottom of the Pareora zig zag, the forest is on the side of a fisher that oozed lava 2 million years ago. This is the most recent volcanic activity in the South Island. Listen for native birds and take a 30min stroll up the hill through a macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) plantation to kahikatea and kowhai. See if you can spy or hear bellbird s(korimako), fantails (piwakawaka), riflemen (titipounamu), grey warblers, brown creepers, and native pigeons (kereru). A wonderful WuHoo is to see the rare native climbing daisy with a bright yellow flower can sometimes be seen in this bush. The turnoff to Claremont Bush Road is about 2km from the zigzag. If you get to the Pareora River bridge you have gone too far. There is a great voluntary effort for trapping pests to help the native flora and fauna.

  40. For the advanced try all 34 routes rock climbing up Mt Horrible: The landowners are Penny and David Seyb. There is no need to contact them before climbing. Please observe the usual courtesies and show respect while climbing on their land. Mt Horrible is a plug of quality basalt very close to Timaru. If you enjoy trad climbing on good pro and sound rock then this is the place for you. The routes are quite short but have an abundance of well-rounded holds and cracks that vary from finger width to semi off width.

  41. Visit Pareora River and find Find fossils. You can wade and paddle in the ankle deep river near the Evens Crossing Ford. Park by the river, unpack a rug and a picnic and spend the day swimming, throwing rocks, catching cockabullies''. Look for limestone rock that is smooth on one side, with fossils that could be 50 million years old on the other side.

  42. Phar Lap raceway out at Washdyke has a stunning monument to the famous racing horse born and bred here. See if you can find another monument to horses here and find out what it commemorates. Phar Lap captured the hearts and minds during the great depression. He had a massive heart capacity that helped him win the Melbourne Cup. His life ended in a mysterious way, some say he was poisoned by mafia to punish the illegal bookies.

  43. Pleasant Point has a cycle track that runs parallel to the highway to Timaru. You can hire E-Bikes to go for a ride too. 

  44. See Rock Art: The Te Manunui Rock Art Site is one of the few sites that are accessible to the public from 215-275 Frenchmans Gully Road, Maungati. Tangata whenua believe the bird figure ‘Te Manunui’ (the Great Bird) represents New Zealand’s now extinct Pouakai or the Haast eagle (Aquila moorei, previously Harpagornis moorei) that was associated with the Canterbury area. It is easy to get to and the drawings are clear. A wonderful place to take your family and visitors and to raise public awareness and appreciation of Māori rock art and educating the public about the earliest stages of human habitation in New Zealand.

  45. Take a breather at the Mungati Peace Walk: Rongomaraeroa is a Cherry Tree Walk that was established in 2009 in the memory of Peter Elworthy. While the land is privately owned, the public is welcome. 143 Timaunga Rd, Maungati. There is a beautiful sculpture that recognizes the efforts of women who worked on the farm in the world wars.

  46. Round the back is Moa Valley, you can visit the rock art in this area. Just be mindful of the season and kind to the sheep that sometimes graze there. The limestone looks like natural cathedrals. See if you can spot a limestone tower that looks a bit like a moa. 

  47. Whalebone Corner: Ever thought, if I stuck some whale bones near my house, it would make it easier to find? Worn by weather for over 100 years, you can see the remnants of four whale bones which were brought out from the whaling station on Caroline Bay about 1870. Mr John Machintoch, who built the house on the farm Kingsborough about the tome instructed John Webster to collect the bones on a dray and to place them a the intersection so the visitors could be easily directed to Kingsborough. Since then, this intersection has always been known as The Whalebones Corner. (Take care is stopping here and park well away from the intersection).

  48. McKenzie Memorial: Below the shingle zig zag is a memorial and a stand of native trees marking the place at Hika-a-Tama (Taiki Flat) where a flock of 1000 sheep were rustled- believed stolen from the Rhodes brothers - and later found in possession of the Scottish shepherd James 'Jock' McKenzie. Taiko was a Māori who worked for the pastoralist Rhodes brothers and helped locate the missing sheep and McKenzie. He protested his innocence, but was jailed. He escaped twice before being pardoned. His exploits, and those of his dog, won him widespread public sympathy and he became a folk hero. The area where he was apprehended was subsequently named ‘the Mackenzie Country’. This memorial to Mackenzie and his dog is in Fairlie. There's also a picnic table the perfect place to stop for a picnic. At night the sheep were put in yards made with sod walls, and although the yards have since been cultivated, it is still possible to see an outline of them. If you are wondering why a thief might be deserving of a legend, you only have to see the country he went through. Imagine what it was like before there were tracks, fences, trees and willows. Just plenty of spiky matagouri. James Mckenzie was later pardoned. Although spelled differently, the Mackenzie district was also named after James McKenzie, who over the years has become somewhat of a local folk hero.

  49. St David’s Memorial Church: St David’s was built by runholder and Member of Parliament T.D. (Thomas David) Burnett at his own expense in remembrance of his parents Andrew (1838-1927) and Catherine Burnett (1837-1914), who took up Mount Cook run (Mt Cook Station) in May 1864, and “in the wildness founded a home”. Opened in 1930 and constructed without using any nails, the church is named after St David, the patron saint of all shepherds. Inside, bluestone tablets set at intervals in the nave wall list the first and second wave of South Canterbury station run holders. Further along Burnett’s Rd is another interesting piece of local history, also connected with the Burnett family. The often photographed Burnett Homestead Gates to “Aorangi”, the family’s lowland farm, were built during the 1933 depression and illustrate the class structure of the time, with a main gate for the residents and separate side gates, one for English workers, the other for Irish workers. In 2018 the South Canterbury Museum received a ceremonial silver trowel presented to local MP Thomas Burnett in 1926 at the laying of the Temuka Public Library foundation stone. 

  50. Go Geocaching to add some free fun to a walk. There are more than a hundred caches hidden around the district, intrepid cache hunters are spoilt for choice. Download the free app here. You create an account, Use the search function on your app to see the caches in your area, Select a cache and follow the instructions to find it, get clues to find the GPS co-ordinate, find the geocache and then use the app to share your experience. Normally a cache contains a small piece of paper (log) for you to record your name as well as some small items – remember “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”

  51. Go for a walk at Timaru's; Tuhawaiki (Jack’s) Point, Caroline Bay, South Beach Coastal Track, Dashing Rocks, Saltwater Creek, Otipua Creek, Otipua Wetlands, Centennial Park, Central Timaru Historic Walk, Timaru Botanic Gardens Walking Tracks

  52. Have a BBQ at one of the many free gas BBQs in the District. Try one at the Timaru Botanic Gardens, Caroline Bay playground, Centennial Park, Dobson St at Mulcahy Park or the Temuka Domain Playground

  53. What do you know about your home? Check out our resource "Home History" to help you discover it's story here. Over the lockdowns, we decided to learn about the area where we live and invited some locals to share their interesting stories, tips and tricks.

  54. Stuck at home, we have a section on free fun to make at home. Find a WuHoo at Home here


  55. Jump in the car and spend part of your day exploring the The Pioneer Trail. It's a 150km, round trip. Takes 3hrs. We usually allow half a day to explore. The Pioneer Trail leads you through some the the rolling South Canterbury hills. It follows a circuit from Pleasant Point to Temuka to Geraldine back to Pleasant Point. A site route leads to the forest service of Peel Forest. The site of aviation pioneer Richard Pearse's test flight is on the route.
  56. Pleasant Point, travel in a clockwise direction to come to the first site, the Richard Pearse Memorial. The rest of the sites are easily located by following the sign posts en route. The trail can be joined at places like Geraldine and Temuka, bringing you back to your starting point.

  57. Get a photo being a plane under a plane at the Richard Pearse Memorial. Pearse, designed and flew the first aircraft in New Zealand and possibly the world, before the Wright Brothers flew. A replica of his aircraft is by the roadside. Relics of early aviation that were designed and manufactured by Richard Pearse, are displayed in the Pleasant Point Railway Museum.

  58. Waitohi Hills offers all-round, magnificent views. Many of the gullies pass done the road were used as sites by illicit whisky distillers. This route is unsealed. Once on the flat, travel straight ahead on the Winchester/Hanging Rock Road to Kakahu School, before returning to Hall Road and the Lime Kiln site. Start at the entrance to the camping area on Galbraith Road. There is a large sign with information and directions for the walk you choose. Waitohi Bush is surrounded by a pine plantation but the bush in the reserve includes mahoe, lemonwood, myrtle, black matipo, red matipo, marble leaf, narrow leaved lacebark, cabbage trees, kowhai, kanuka, five finger broadleaf, lancewood, wineberry, and fuchsia. The rare native climbing daisy grows here. along with Pohuehue and Parsonsia creepers which are abundant in places. There are some kahikatea, matai and totara trees. Bird life includes bellbirds (korimako), fantails (piwakawaka), silver eyes, grey warblers, tomtits and the shining cuckoo.

  59. The Kakahu school was built in 1884. Jessie Mackay taught here from 1887 to 1890, she is recognized as an important poet and a leading suffragette who worked with Kate Sheppard in securing the vote for women in 1893.

  60. Kakahu Lime Kiln (1881) was built of marble and limestone to burn lime and use it for building and agriculture. The kiln is one of the area's oldest industrial relics.

  61. St Anne's Church (1861) Found in Pleasant Valley was the first was the original wooden St Mary's Church built in Timaru in. This church was replaced by the old bluestone building that still stands in Timaru's center today.

  62. At Hanging Rock on the way to Raincliff is a special spot to see some of our early Maori Rock Art.

  63. At Raincliff Scout Den are some of the tallest trees in the country. St David's Church is a sweet wee spot to stop and admire.

  64. Pioneer Park has a eclectic planting of trees from all over the world. The DOC land has a camping ground next to a stream, with compost toilets. We love to check out the bat trees here that have metal bands to deter the possums. There are a few different tracks to trek or bike. There was a meadow of daisies when we visited and the kids had a ball picking them and learning to make daisy crowns and fairy homes. The walking tracks range from 30mins to 2 hours and dogs are allowed here.  Learn more on the DOC website. Pioneer Park Conservation Area is 32 km from Geraldine. Follow the Geraldine Fairlie Highway (79) for 23 km before turning onto Gudex Road. Take the next right onto Middle Valley Road. Follow this road for 2 km before turning left through iron gates into Pioneer Park.

  65. Learn about the bats who live all around the Geraldine area: The Long-Tailed Bat used to be common throughout New Zealand in the 1800s, although by 1900-1930 they were becoming scarce in many districts. Ever wondered how to spot one or how to be a bat ambassador? Download: Long-Tailed Bat.pdf
  66. At Peel Forest you can find remnants of the treasured mixed podocarp-hardwood rain forest. There's epic trees. Some of the forest was milled, and history about those early pioneering days can be found on the track by the Peel Forest Camp Ground. Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve 22 km from Geraldine Peel Forest covers 783 hectares around Little Mt Peel/ Huatekerekere. There are extensive walking tracks through the forest and up onto the mountain, as well as a privately run campground. There is a brochure for this area here

  67. Orari Gorge is stunning wee spot to explore. It is about 15km from Geraldine opposite the Glenburn Youth Camp on Yates Rd. Take Main North Rd (72) 4.5 km out of Geraldine and turn left on Tripp Settlement Rd. Follow this for 7.5 km before turning left onto Yates Rd.. There is a loop walk that takes about 1.5 hours to walk. The track initially follows an old bush tramway, which was used to extract logs. Continue straight on though large tōtara, kahikatea and mataī before climbing to an open highpoint. The return leg is through bush with some extensive stands of kānuka. Turn right at the track junction back to the car park.
    It is managed by DOC and dogs are not permited in the area. DOC information about the Orari Gorge Track

  68. Waihi Gorge Scenic Reserve 13.5 km from Geraldine Waihi Gorge Scenic Reserve is made up of 62 hectares on the northern bank of the Waihi River. There are no walking tracks through the reserve, though there is a campground and picnic spots by the river. The reserve is on Waihi Gorge Rd. Follow Main North Rd (72) from Geraldine and turn left onto Woodbury Rd (2.5 km). After Woodbury, the road becomes Waihi Gorge Rd. 
    The scenic reserve lies along the north and south bank of the Waihi River. The bush-clad reserve and shallow river provide a lovely backdrop to the campground. This area contains some small groups of tötara and kaikahikatea, as well as a stand of black beech/ tawhairauriki. The river and reserve are separated from the road by a strip of private land. There is only one legal access point —through the campground. There are no walking tracks through the reserve.

  69. Geraldine's European population grew in 1856 for the logging and milling of the surrounding native forest. This timber was in demand for the development of Timaru. Today the town has a really neat vibe and is a popular stop for the tourists who are on their way to Fairlie. Timaru Trails has a Geraldine Heritage Site Trail with 27 recommended stops. Local Māori called the area Heratini and Rau Kāpuka, meaning a hundred Kāpuka trees. The people of Arowhenua had this saying – ‘Te whenua i haroa e Te Kāhu’ - “The land that is surrounded by bush and swamp, that is watched over by the hawk.” In the 1840s early European settlers named the new settlement Talbot Forest. By 1857 a larger community had been established and its name was changed to Fitzgerald after the first superintendent of the Canterbury Province. By 1884, the had name changed again to Geraldine, one of James Fitzgerald's Irish family names.

  70. We love how the Geraldine Arts and Plants walkway is developing at Geraldine. You can start at the Riverside Walkway where there are heaps of Rhododendron plants and a secret fairy door. Here is a link to the walk
  71. Pekapeka Gully Track in Geraldine takes about an hour and gives some great Views over the Geraldine plains and to the mountains. Start at the end of Hislop Street and follow the track up and over the ridge. This is a steep grade going up and down but rewarded by a good view at the top. It is suitable for fit mountain bikers and walkers. A pine plantation on the south side protects the native re-vegetation along Riddells Reserve and the retention dam. In times of heavy rain, proceed with caution as water will back up behind the dam. Large trees provide shade on the downward slope. This gully provides a wildlife corridor to link with Talbot Forest. The track comes out at the end of Barker Street. It is named the Pekapeka track after the rare Long Tailed Bat (pekapeka) which inhabits the area. It is, however, rarely seen. To extend this walk continue on along the Talbot Forest walkway.

  72. Talbot Forest is a neat track that connects the top of the hill to the town below. there are a few forest giants to meet, totara, kahikatea and matai to name a few. Both native and introduced birds fill the forest with song. The trail leads onto State Highway 79 and here you may choose to turn left to carry on to Peel Forest, or turn right into Geraldine township and continue on the Pioneer Trail circuit. The trip to Peel Forest takes approximately 30 minutes.

    - Kahikatea Track 683m, 10 minutes. This track connects Hislop Street with Totara Street picnic area. There are some fine kaikahikatea trees at the HislopStreet end where the land is wetter. Kaikahikatea can grow to be the tallest tree in the forest, reaching 40 metres.

    - Totara Track 302m, 5 minutes. This track connects Totara Street with Tripp Street picnic area. Next to the track is the largest tötara in the reserve which is estimated to be 800 years old. Tötara were used by Mäori to built canoes. A large tree could be made into a waka taua (war canoe) capable of holding 100 warriors.

    - Reservoir Track 225m, 5 minutes. This track connects Tripp Street picnic area with Bridge Street. The picnic area is a good starting point from which to explore the reserve. The iron gates on Bridge Street mark the old main entrance into the reserve.

    - Mataï Track 680m, 10 minutes. This track connects Tripp Street with Totara Street. The track passes some impressive forest trees including mataï with its needle leaves and ‘hammered’ bark.

  73. Temuka was a beautiful Domain. Our kids love the playground there. You can use the public BBQ and smell the roses in the summer months. Chat to birds in the aviary, climb some huge trees, play hide an seek in the native tree section and. on the path along the road, there is a tree covered in shoes!

  74. Just up from the Temuka domain before you get to the police station there is a plaque on the Environment Canterbury Yard Wall. There is a marker to indicate the water level in the horrendous Temuka flood of 1968. See if you can find Gunnion's Bush (named after a former mayor and well known personality) near the camping ground entrance, includes totara and white pine (kahikatea) Domain gardens, Birds- owls, ducks, fantails (piwakawaka) and grey warblers. If you wanted to go for a walk, you could start at the Temuka Domain entrance between the railway line and the Police Station. Follow the road past the swimming pool and turn right in front of the Temuka Holiday Park where a sign points to the Walking Tracks and Torepe Fields. Follow the road around to the left through the Temuka Recreation Reserve. The track is a dirt road which circles around the domain and cuts through the golf course. Large trees provide shade along much of the walk. Your return is through tall gum trees on the road edge of Domain Avenue. (Look out for the shoe tree!) While dogs are not allowed in the Domain it is allowable to walk them on this route.

  75. We really love the walk along the stream at Temuka called Taumatakahu, it leads you through the reseve and takes about 10 minutes. It's a few blocks over from the Temuka Domain. Start at the entrance to the Taumatakahu Reserve on the corner of Wilkin Street and Princes Street. There are, however, many entrances and exits. This is an easy walk through a park setting. The path follows a gentle meandering stream which adds to the interest with a variety of ducks. The path continues across Gammack Street through a signed alleyway. Further parkland continues across Maude street which could provide an extension to your walk.
  76. Temuka main street has many examples of Edwardian architecture. A good example is the building which houses the Temuka Information Centre. From here the trail returns you to the Richard Pearse Memorial. If you have already visited this site you may wish to finish the trail at this point. Spy an old lamppost with a tribute to a friend. We love to stop by the Temuka River and if the current is okay, go for a wade/paddle.

  77. Go for a ROAM around the beautiful central South Island lakes. The ROAM Loop takes in the best of the central South Island, starting and finishing in seaside city Timaru. It’s a favourite road trip for locals, and is popular with vehicle clubs from around New Zealand. ​ It takes approximately four hours to complete, however, you're going to want to stop, stay and play along the way. You could go even further and make day trips to Takapō/TekapoAoraki/Mt CookOmaramara and the Waitaki lakes, as well as Oamaru. Venture Timaru has a driving App to help you get your bearings.  Download the free app to your phone from the App Store or Google PlayYou can also view the web version of the App from your PC or laptop.