Christchurch - Canterbury


  • Te Ana Māori Rock Art
  • Little Blue Penguins
  • Caroline Bay


Explore Timaru

Read more

Timaru is one of Aotearoa New Zealand's most underrated seaside towns. Here, you'll find exciting eateries, ancient Māori rock art, and one of the country's best beaches.

Arts and culture

Christchurch - Canterbury
Te Ana Maori Rock Art site tour, Christchurch - Canterbury

Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre

On cliffs and caves scattered across the South Island are beautiful paintings of mythical creatures and native animals that have since become extinct, such as the Haast's eagle (giant eagle) and Moa (a large flightless bird). These centuries-old drawings were made by Māori as far back as 800 years ago, when they first arrived from Polynesia. See eight stunning examples of this ancient art form in a gallery setting at Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre.  

Wildlife and nature

Christchurch - Canterbury
Little Blue penguin, Christchurch - Canterbury

Little Blue Penguins

Head to Caroline Bay to see Little Blue Penguins returning to their burrows after a day at sea. Please stay behind the fenced-off area and don’t use flash photography. For more information, visit Timaru Penguins(opens in new window). Please note, the penguins are at Caroline Bay from October to March only. 

The Raptor Experience

New Zealand’s three native birds of prey are impressive hunters. The New Zealand falcon seizes other birds in mid-air at speeds of up to 200 kilometres an hour. The harrier floats on thermal currents as it circles for prey. And the morepork flies almost silently as it sneaks up on unsuspecting insects or rodents. On a New Zealand Raptor Experience tour, you’ll learn more about these amazing birds and be introduced to birds that have been rehabilitated following illness or injury but cannot be released back into the wild. Profits from the tours go towards caring for these birds, along with education and advocacy programmes.  

Walking and cycling

Christchurch - Canterbury
Cycling at Centennial Park, Christchurch - Canterbury

Timaru Trails App

The free Timaru Trails app(opens in new window)is jam-packed with useful information, including where to find the region’s best hikes and cycling trails and the history of important local landmarks. Insider tip: select the Timaru Eats option to find the nearest eateries and restaurants for wherever you happen to be.  

Caroline Bay

Caroline Bay is a beautiful family-friendly beach surrounded by bustling cafés, public parks, and gardens. Follow the Memorial Walkway to the Benvenue Cliffs, where you’ll find the historic Blackett's Lighthouse (established 1878).  

Claim to fame

Christchurch - Canterbury
Phar Lap, Christchurch - Canterbury

Timaru is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Phar Lap. This legendary racehorse was on a remarkable winning streak, taking 32 of 35 races, when he died of suspected arsenic poisoning in 1932. Although Phar Lap spent most of his life in Melbourne, the distribution of his remains reflects the claims on him by both Australia and New Zealand. His heart and his hide went to Australia, while is skeleton came back to New Zealand, where it has been on display at the national museum Te Papa Tongarewa(opens in new window) in Wellington ever since.  

Explore Timaru

Find activities

Find accommodation

Find transport

Find tours

Where To Next