Timaru is a major port town in the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island, but for many people it’s a great place for a rest break in their road trips between Christchurch and Dunedin. Those who do stop here will be pleased with their decision, it’s location, on picturesque, tranquil Caroline Bay, offers wonderful sea views in one direction and spectacular snow-capped mountains in the other. This isn’t a particularly touristy town, but there are still some great options on our Guru’s list of the best places to stay in Timaru.
Timaru has always been known as a sheltered harbour - that’s what the name means in Māori - but there was no settlement here until a whaling station was set up here in the 1830s. These days the port is still a key resource for the town, and the energy of its vast cranes demonstrate the wealth coming in and out of the town.
The centre of town is small enough to walk around, and there’s a lovely central piazza, next to the earthquake-proofed council offices and public library. There are also some great late 19th and early 20th Century buildings in Timaru, which give it a bit more charm than other provincial centres.
Timaru also has one of the South Island’s largest public art galleries, an impressive botanic gardens, a Roman Catholic basilica and is home to the South Canterbury Museum full of the region’s historic artefacts.
Still undecided? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Timaru, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or you can widen the net and search all our recommendations in the South Island.
Run by Glendeer Fly Fishing Guides, this lodge has three ensuite rooms with underfloor heating, unlimited wifi and continental breakfast included in the stay. Use of fully equipped kitchen. Centrally located close to over 30 rivers and streams, making it ideal for the avid angler.