Timaru – Feel the pulse of the heartland

4peaksIn the heart of the South Island is a region of sweeping plains, rolling hills and unspoilt coastline. Set against a backdrop of the spectacular Southern Alps, the Central South Island is diverse, authentic and full of unexpected discoveries. It is on one hand a patchwork quilt of agricultural and horticultural endeavour, on the other a welcoming region where genuine Kiwi hospitality thrives and virtually any interest can be pursued or holiday indulgence satisfied.

The region is made up of the charming townships of Geraldine, Peel Forest, Pleasant Point and Temuka all of which border on the main urban centre, Timaru.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the clear alpine air and superb scenery. Tramping and hiking options range from a half hour stroll to a three-day odyssey. You could also take a scenic flight (fixed wing or helicopter), mountain bike a back country trail, fish rivers and streams renowned for their trout and salmon, go boating or water skiing or simply drive the highways and byways of the Central South Island.  For the more adventurous, some of the country’s best white-water rafting and kayaking can be found on the beautiful Rangitata River. Or you can surf the coastline or take a 4-wheel-drive safari to explore a high country sheep station. 

timaruLocated on State Highway 1 and on the alternative Christchurch/Queenstown route, Timaru is the pivotal heart of the Central South Island region. The striking piazza, with stunning views stretching from Caroline Bay across to the snow-clad mountains, is complemented by the development of numerous café-bars and restaurants that have taken advantage of this superb setting. Holidaymakers have been flocking to the much-loved stretch of sandy, safe beach that is Caroline Bay, for more than 100 years. The long running annual Caroline Bay Carnival continues to entice visitors from throughout New Zealand and beyond for days of quality Kiwi entertainment, games and popular fairground rides.

Twenty minutes northwest and on the Inland Scenic Route between Christchurch and Mt Cook, the countryside comes to town in Geraldine. Nestled at the foot of rolling downlands and bisected by the tranquil Waihi River, Geraldine is a quaintly unique village with a thriving arts and culture industry. The pretty main street with its venerable trees, gardens and historic buildings is always bustling with visitors. The town’s cafes, antique and art and craft shops and gourmet food producers (including handmade chocolates, delicious cheese and great preserves) are a major draw card.

For most visitors, the difficulty is not deciding what to do but what to leave out. The Central South Island region is one of New Zealand’s better-kept secrets, where visitors are always welcome to share our relaxed, friendly lifestyle and revel in what is truly our great outdoors.

whiteraftingpellforestThese adventures and much more await you in the Central South Island region. Want to learn more about the Central South Island region? Visit www.southcanterbury.org.nz

Images provided by Central South Island Tourism