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South Canterbury

Welcome to South Canterbury

A destination for families, foodies and adventure seekers, South Canterbury is stacked with beautiful outdoor environments. 

Explore ancient Maori rock art, history and heritage, outdoor adventures, fabulous fare, and great Kiwi hospitality.

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See & Do in South Canterbury

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Explore the Region

South Canterbury Peel Forest Large Tree

Peel Forest

A historic bush-clad retreat named after British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, who died in the same year the New Zealand province of Canterbury was founded.

Peel Forest offers excellent walking for all levels, with tracks through the bush leading to waterfalls and the 1311m summit of Little Mt Peel.

The gateway to the Rangitata Valley, Peel Forest is the base for many adventure activities in the area, including rafting, kayaking and horse trekking.

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South Canterbury Historic Building Geraldine

Geraldine

Bring a hearty appetite on your visit here – because taste bud temptations are everywhere. The quaint township of Geraldine has become a gourmet hub, home to delicious local cheeses, fruit preserves and irresistible handmade chocolates.

The Geraldine Farmers’ market is held on Saturdays in summer, boasting the area’s best produce, smoked goods, preserves and good coffee.

Geraldine is also home to many well-known artists with galleries and studios open for public viewing.

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Timaru with Caroline Bay in the background

Timaru

Caroline Bay is a fabulous sandy beach and recreation reserve right in downtown Timaru City. There is a resident rookery of Korora, or little penguins, the beach comes complete with a diving pontoon, and it was voted the most popular beach in the South Island.

The Trevor Griffiths Rose Gardens are a ‘Garden of Excellence’ designed by Sir Warren Miles, and located at the Bay. The garden is home to over 1,200 types of vintage rose, some saved from extinction by the passionate rose lover the gardens are named after.

Visit Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre, guardians of eight pieces of precious Māori rock art. Join the local guides for a tour of the rock art sites, the most significant collection of its kind in the South Island.

Timaru hosts a Saturday morning Farmers’ Market year-round, with fresh seasonal produce, artisan bread, meats and much more, including lots of goodies to munch on while you shop.

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South Canterbury Waimate Farmland

Waimate

Come and discover the serenity and country charm of Waimate. It’s the gateway to Waitaki River Valley, and one of the few places in New Zealand where wallabies run wild.

Explore world-class trout and salmon fishing, race down the river on a raft, or jump on a horse for some dry land adventures. Mountain bikers are fast discovering local trails.

Waimate is known as the South Island berry capital. Each December, thousands celebrate the Waimate Strawberry Fare, a fantastic day of family entertainment with more than 250 stalls.

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Explore by Foot or Bike

South Canterbury Timaru Boardwalk

South Canterbury Walks

South Canterbury has varied landscapes and attractive scenery, with a number of easily accessible and well maintained walking tracks. From coastal trails to sub-alpine South Canterbury hiking tracks, there's something for everyone and most within a short drive from Timaru.

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South Canterbury Hill Road

South Canterbury Cycling

Explore the heart of South Canterbury by bike, a great way to soak up the coastal, rural and river based scenery the region has to offer. From gentle tracks to challenging terrain there's a track to suit everyone in South Canterbury.

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South Canterbury River Swimming

A Day in Peel Forest and Geraldine

Peel Forest, the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts, with forests, paddocks and rivers the main characteristics of the area.

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