1. Heritage Place


Did you know? Timaru’s port story began in 1851 when the headland was used by George Rhodes to land stores and materials for his house and sheep station. Soon he was landing goods for others and in 1857 sold the business to H.J. Le Cren and Captain Henry Cain. The first wharf was opened in 1881 and signaled the end of the landing service. The construction of Timaru's artificial port secured the town's economic future. Sediment built up at the northern breakwater and created the sandy Caroline Bay.

Can you find? The plaque where George Rhodes and his wife Elizabeth lived?

WuHoo Challenge: Get a selfie with Captain Cain.

Did you know? In 1984 the community restored the Landing Services Building, which is the only one of it’s kind in the southern hemisphere, and saved it from becoming a car park.


On your way to the next stop, check out Alexander Square which the Government wanted to be the center of the Town. 

The sea was colonial New Zealand’s highway. And Timaru wanted to be on the map. Because we lacked a safe natural harbor, the local community had to build an artificial port. 

Timaru’s port story began in 1851 when George Rhodes used the headland to land stores and materials for his house and sheep station. The house was the first in Timaru. Can you find a plaque that commemorates this house? 

Soon Rhodes was landing goods for others. In a landing service boats run down a slipway, are rowed or hauled out to ships anchored offshore, pick up goods and then return to the shore, where they are hauled up again. In 1857 Rhodes sold the business to H.J. Le Cren and Captain Henry Cain. The opening of the first wharf in 1881 signaled the end of the boating service. For 99 years the ‘Loan and Merc’ and then Dalgety Ltd stored goods in the building, which is now 400 m from the sea. Its future looked bleak in 1984 when the Timaru City Council bought the land for a car park, but fortunately local conservationists persuaded city council to save what is now claimed to be the only landing service building in the southern hemisphere.

A memorial of Captain Henry Cain (1816 -1886) sits resting on cargo crates. He was one of Timaru's earliest colonial residents, he a store on this site and later became Mayor of Timaru. Sadly he was murdered by his son in law. His wife Mrs Cain turned the first sod at this end of the Timaru-Christchurch railway. They had a cottage on the shore. She recalled the first immigrant ship to sail direct to Timaru arriving. It brought 110 souls, a significant boost to the Timaru population. A couple of days after they landed a few guys took off on a food gathering expedition, they proudly carried back some birds for dinner, only to be greeted by Mrs Cain laughing at them as their catch was a in edible salty bird called the shag.