Timaru and the nearby areas offer a relaxed lifestyle together with access to some of New Zealand's finest scenery in the form of wild rivers, deep gorges, rolling hills, lakes and mountains. From the fertile Canterbury Plains with its intensive farming through to the more desert like interior regions where lakes and mountains abound, this district has something for everyone.
Timaruvians are a friendly and welcoming people and take pride in the safe environment its residents and visitors enjoy.
If you are seeking quality education in an environment that offers an outdoors lifestyle, extensive recreational facilities and a friendly welcome then Timaru Boys' High School should be high on your list of choices.
Aoraki Development Business & Tourism - www.southcanterbury.org.nz/live-work
Timaru Botanic Gardens
19 hectares of trees, shrubs, flowers, sweeping lawns, bird aviary, tropical house and ponds.
Timaru has one major swimming complex in Timaru. Maori Park (CBay) is a newly built multi-purpose facility.
Timaru's premier swimming beach. Each Christmas and New Year it hosts the Caroline Bay Carnival. There are a large number of facilities making this an ideal picnic area for families and is only a few minutes’ walk from the Piazza and its restaurants.
South Canterbury Museum
The museum holds a large collection of artefacts reflecting the development of the region's past together with fascinating exhibits from nature and history. Special exhibitions are a feature of the museum.
Aigantighe Art Gallery
Timaru has the South Island's third largest art museum collection. The gallery holds New Zealand, Pacific and European art works from the 17th century to the present day. Within the grounds are a number of large limestone sculptures.
The library offers local and international information, most New Zealand newspapers, genealogical resources, Internet and email services and reading materials to satisfy the interests of all.
A Brief Early History Of Timaru
Timaru (Te Maru), means "place of shelter". Timaru was originally a safe place for Maori travellers canoeing along the eastern South Island coastline although it is known that the area had a resident Maori population from very early times. European New Zealand occupation began around 1837 when a whaling station was built at Patiti Point on the southern side of the present city. It functioned only for a short time before being moved to Banks Peninsula.
In 1852 the Rhodes brothers bought a tract of land they called, "The Levels", and introduced sheep farming to the district. They also freeholded 50 hectares of land which was to form the hub of Timaru's commercial area. In 1859 the first significant landing of immigrants arrived in Timaru and the settlement started to function as a township. In 1877 a start was made on developing a port as there had been a number of shipwrecks close to land. As the harbour developed, so to did the build up of sand at Caroline Bay, producing a popular and safe swimming beach for locals and the increasing number of visitors. With the arrival of the first trains in 1876, Timaru's popularity as a holiday destination and place to live was assured - something which continues to this day.