Visit Timaru with Mighway

Hire a campervan in Timaru

Timaru (English: ; Māori: Te Tihi-o-Maru) is a port city in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand, located 157 kilometres southwest of Christchurch and about 196 kilometres northeast of Dunedin on the eastern Pacific coast of the South Island. The Timaru urban area is home to 29,000 people, and is the largest urban area in South Canterbury, and the second largest in the Canterbury Region overall, after Christchurch. The city is the seat of the Timaru District, which includes the surrounding rural area and the towns of Geraldine, Pleasant Point and Temuka, which combined has a total population of 47,100. Caroline Bay beach is a popular recreational area located close to Timaru's city centre, just to the north of the substantial port facilities. Beyond Caroline Bay, the industrial suburb of Washdyke is at a major junction with State Highway 8, the main route into the Mackenzie Country. This provides a road link to Fairlie, Twizel, Lake Tekapo, Aoraki / Mount Cook and Queenstown. Timaru has been built on rolling hills created from the lava flows of the extinct Mt Horrible volcano, which last erupted many thousands of years ago. The result is that most of the main streets are undulating, a clear contrast with the flat landscape of the Canterbury Plains to the north. This volcanic rock is used for the construction of local "bluestone" buildings.

Campervan Hire Timaru

$120 / Day


Timaru, Canterbury

Sleeps 2
Length 6m

Maggie (Timaru)
$218.75 / Day

Maggie (Timaru)

Pleasant Point, Canterbury

Sleeps 6
Length 7.2m

Places to Visit near Timaru

Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre

Discover the stories of Māori rock art at our tribal Rock Art Centre.  See the most significant collection of ancient Māori rock art in New Zealand. Share tribal stories and traditions with our local Māori guides. Enjoy our incredible interactive exhibition: experience the terrifying attack of Pouākai, the world’s largest eagle which roamed the skies more than 500 years ago; shelter in the ‘Cave of the Taniwha’ where the rock art is created before your eyes then takes on a life of its own! Deepen your knowledge of Maori rock art on our rock art site tours as our guides share the stories of our ancestors on the same trails that they once traveled. Journey with us to these cherished places and let the past come to life at a group of treasured rock art sites.  Follow in the footsteps of our ancestors; learn how they lived and why we treasure their legacy today. Our role as rock art guardians  Te Ana is a non-profit organization - all funds from our Centre and tours are used for the Māori rock art and the revitalisation of the aspect of our tribal culture. By joining us at Te Ana you are helping to protect this our precious tribal legacy for the generations to come.

South Canterbury Museum

From fossils to fashions, there are hundreds of things to see in the permanent displays and changing exhibitions.

The museum is located on Perth Street, downtown Timaru, beside the historic St Mary’s church, and is open Tuesday to Sunday, and most public holidays.

Discover the natural heritage of South Canterbury through displays of local geology, fossils and the rich forest environment which once covered this region. Explore local Maori history through our Takata Whenua exhibition area and find how local communities lived through the seasons.

Follow the stories of European arrival and settlement, and how South Canterbury developed into today’s flourishing region. Trip back through the recent past with displays of the everyday from the last 150 years, and learn how people lived their lives through the decades.

Among the exhibits is the story of Richard Pearse, the local man who designed and built an aircraft in his farm shed in 1903. A replica of his first design hangs from the museum’s ceiling.

The museum’s research area provides access to thousands of historic images, archival documents, local history publications and information files. Visitors can watch short films about local legends in the museum’s Heritage Theatre. Schools can explore heritage at the museum and sites around the region with the museum’s Heritage Education Service, led by qualified teachers.

For a fascinating glimpse into the region’s heritage, you can’t go past the South Canterbury Museum.

Aigantighe Art Gallery

Its name is Scottish Gaelic for ‘at home’ and is pronounced ‘egg and tie’.

The Aigantighe holds an extensive permanent collection of New Zealand and international art from the 16th century to the present day. Its collection of British Victorian paintings is particularly strong, while national favourites Charles Goldie, Frances Hodgkins and Colin McCahon are also very well represented.

A continually changing display of works from this collection is shown in the original Edwardian house, which initially formed the art gallery when it was donated to the city in 1956.

The modern wing displays the work of local artists and also hosts travelling exhibitions from around the country. The gallery offers plenty of activities for children, from art books and drawing materials to dress-ups and art hunts.

Aigantighe Art Gallery’s park-like grounds are always open to the public, featuring a wide variety of permanent sculptures set amongst established trees and gardens. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm, Weekends 12 – 4pm. Entry is free.

York Street Gallery of Fine Art

The gallery is home to an ever changing collection of works by renowned New Zealand artists.

The unique style and atmosphere of York Street Gallery of Fine Art is enhanced by the experience and flair of its owner. The gallery holds a selection of high quality artwork to view and to purchase including AA Deans, Llew Summers, Jason Greig, John Badcock, Mary Horn and a wide, ever changing variety of other contemporary and traditional artists.

Campgrounds and Parks near Timaru

Patiti Point

Visitors can stay at this site for a maximum of 2 nights. However, vehicles must leave the site between 10am and 4pm everyday.

Visit Patiti Point

Caroline Bay

Free Wifi zone

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