Timaru is a port town in the Canterbury region of the South Island, New Zealand; it is located between Christchurch and Dunedin.

Timaru is a great holiday destination or a pleasant stopover. Visitors will love to visit Caroline Bay which has a safe swimming beach, a maze, a landscaped piazza and walks. The town hosts a collection of restaurants and cafes that link the beach to the main shopping area.

Visitors to the area must experience Timaru's grand Victorian and Edwardian buildings which are constructed in local volcanic bluestone, the outstanding museum which has moa-hunter artefacts and whaling relics and the art gallery that has the third largest public art collection in the South Island.

Timaru has easy access to numerous inland lakes where sailing, water skiing, boating, windsurfing and fishing are popular in summer and at least five Central South Island ski fields are within easy distance as they are all less than two hours' drive from the coast.

Timaru History

The origin of the name 'Timaru' is debated. Some believe that it comes from Maori Te Maru, which can mean a 'place of shelter'. However, other alleges that Timaru originates from a literal translation of the combination of ti, a cabbage tree and maru, meaning 'shady'.

Maori canoes seem to have taken up the site of Timaru as a place to rest on long journeys up and down the eastern coastline for many years before the arrival of the first Europeans in the 19th century.

European settlement began with the construction of a whaling station in 1839 by the Weller brothers of Otago at Patiti Point, close to the present town centre. A supply ship, The Caroline, provided the name for a local bay.

Main Towns in the Christchurch-Canterbury Region

Other Towns in the Christchurch-Canterbury Region