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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.

Caroline Bay Board Walk

Explore Caroline Beach, the playground, paddling pool and bird aviary as well as historical monuments e.g. Palliser Fountain, Memorial Wall.

Walk level:
Easy walking track

Duration of walk:
Various lengths (shared cycle/walkway)

Start location:
Caroline Bay

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Dashing Rocks Walk

Explore Benvenue Cliffs - the site of the 1882 wrecks of sailing ships Benvenue & the City of Perth (later re-floated), and Dashing Rocks. The tree-lined cliff is where ancient lava flows from Mount Horrible met the sea. If the sea is rough you will see why this walkway was given its name!

Walk level:
Walking track

Duration of walk:
45 minutes

Start location:
Start from the north end of the Caroline Bay car park.

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Opihi River Stop Bank Track

A long flat grassy Willow tree lined walking track. Fishing and swimming is popular in this part of the river.

Walk level:
Walking track

Duration of walk:
13km one way.

Start location:
Arowhenua Road car park (Turn off State Highway 1 onto Arowhenua Road. Drive 100m down to signposted car park) or Tengawai Bridge.

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Saltwater Creek to South Beach Circuit

Salt Water Creek - Otipua Wetlands is a restorative project to form a Kahikatea forest. The four hectare lake is a haven for local and migratory birds. View the ancient basalt lava rock wall from the flow from local volcano Mt Horrible.

South Beach - Coastal views and the Patiti Point Reserve is a popular spot for surfers.

Walk level:
Tramping track

Duration of walk:
various lengths (shared cycle/walkway).

Start location:
BMX Track – Centennial Park Reserve (there are a number of other starting points).

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Orari Gorge Track

These tracks are especially beautiful to walk from spring to autumn due to the large number of trees.

Walk level:
Easy walking track

Duration of walk:
1 hour 30 minutes.

Start location:
The Orari Gorge Scenic Reserve 15 km from Geraldine. It is opposite the Glenburn Youth Camp on Yates Road.

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Centennial Park Reserve

View a Moa bone site, old rail tracks and historic quarry sites on this walk.

Duration of walk:
Various lengths (shared cycle/walkway).

Start location:
Claremont Road entry point (there are a number of other starting points).

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Central Timaru Historic Walk

See the Landing Service Building, the Royal Arcade and St Marys Church on this town walk.

Duration of walk:
30 minutes.

Start location:
Timaru Visitor Centre – 2 George Street, Timaru.

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Allan's Track, Peel Forest

Follow Acland Falls track from Te Wanahu Flat and turn left into Allans track after about 500 metres.

Walk level:
Tramping track

Duration:
5km, 3 hours return.

Start location:
Follows on from Acland Falls track which starts off Rangitata Gorge Road.

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Coal Hill

This track crosses paddocks before climbing steeply up the eastern face of Coal Hill to public conservation land.

Walk level:
Tramping track

Duration:
3km, 3 hours.

Start location:
Public easement, marked from Rangitata Gorge Road.

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Dennistoun Bush Walk, Peel Forest

Enjoy a walk through magnificent ancient forest.

Walk level:
Walking track

Duration:
1.8km, 1 hour return.

Start location:
Car park at Blandswood.

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Emily Falls Track, Peel Forest

The falls are named after Emily Acland, wife of JB Acland.

Walk level:
Walking track

Duration:
3.2km, 1 hour 30 minutes.

Start location:
Start of Blandswood Lookout.

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Rata Falls Track, Peel Forest

Expect to get your feet wet as it's a short 10 minutes walk upstream to reach the falls.

Walk level:
Walking track

Duration:
3km, 2 hours return.

Start location:
Start of Blandswood Lookout Road, start at Emily falls track, turn right at fork.

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