About South Canterbury
The second largest city in Canterbury, Timaru sits about midway between Christchurch and Dunedin. Timaru and the surrounding townships of South Canterbury offer excellent lifestyle opportunities. The average commute is 5-10 minutes, there are a great selection of schools from early learning to tertiary, high quality health care, and affordable house prices. The quality of life within the South Canterbury region is an increasing drawcard for many people who enjoy easy access to the outdoors, a wide range of year-round activities and a safe and welcoming environment in which to raise a family. One of the highlights of South Canterbury life is the ability to choose to live a rural lifestyle and still live within an hour's drive from Timaru city or any of the region's smaller townships.
Within the Region:
- Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. The cluster of New Zealand's highest peaks border Lake Tekapo and provide a beautiful backdrop to some of the best views in the world. The visitor centre is arguably the best DOC (Department of Conservation) visitor centre in NZ.
- Lake Tekapo. In the heart of the Mackenzie Country. New Zealand's most popular tourist route, State Highway 8, passes through Lake Tekapo and provides exquisite views of New Zealand as it should be viewed, 'naturally'. Arguably the stars at night in Tekapo are the brightest to be seen.
- Tasman Glacier. At 27km long and up to 4km wide, the Tasman is the largest of NZ's glaciers, but it's melting fast, losing hundreds of metres of length each year.
- Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. This multimedia museum opened just three weeks before the 2008 death of the man regarded by many as the greatest New Zealander of all time.
- Caroline Bay Park. An expansive park that ranges over an Edwardian-style garden under the Bay Hill cliff, then across broad lawns to low sand dunes and the beach itself which is safe for swimming. The park is host to the annual summer carnival.
- Aigantighe Art Gallery. One of the South Island’s largest public galleries, the 1908 mansion houses a notable collection of NZ and European art across various eras, alongside temporary exhibitions.
- Timaru Botanic Gardens. Established in 1864, the gardens have a pond, lush lawns, shady trees, a playground and floral displays.
- Timaru Festival of Roses. Featuring a market day, concerts and family fun, this week-long celebration capitalises on Timaru's obsession with all things rosy.
- Fishing. Rainbow, brown trout and salmon fishing are popular in high country lakes, lowland rivers and spring creeks. Most of New Zealand’s salmon run is contained within this central South Island area, with the Rangitata Mouth in particular one of the more famous salmon fishing locations in the South Island. For trout, the waters of the Mackenzie country are hard to beat.
- High Country Salmon. The glacial waters of this floating fish farm, 3km from Twizel, produce delicious fish, available to buy as fresh whole fillets and smoked portions.