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Locality Guide

Caroline Bay Timaru

Location Description

Timaru, the urban hub of South Canterbury, is just two hours’ drive south of Christchurch. A picturesque blend of coast and country, this family friendly destination is well placed to suit holiday pursuits for all ages and interests.

Timaru is well known for one its main attractions, Caroline Bay. Caroline Bay provides many diversions including a safe swimming beach, mini golf, the Trevor Griffiths rose garden, wonderful walks, a landscaped Piazza and a very popular annual carnival with non-stop entertainment over each Christmas period.

Timaru sits at the doorstep of many inland lakes where sailing, water skiing, boating, windsurfing, horse riding and fishing are popular summer pastimes. Being on the coast means many beaches and rivers are right at our finger tips to enjoy rafting or surfing. At least five Central South Island ski fields are within easy distance for avid snow enthusiasts.


Visitor Centre & Local Authority

  • Timaru Visitor Information Centre
    Ph: 03 688 6163
  • Timaru District Council
    Ph: 03 687 7200



The Agantighe Art Gallery in Wai-iti Road, Timaru is the South Island's third largest art museum. Which offers over 900 works of art including artists such as Goldie and Hodgkins as well as reconstruction of the 1903 aircraft used by aviation pioneer Richard Pearse in his first attempt at powered flight.

The Theatre Royal is an important focal point for the arts and entertainment and makes a significant contribution to the lifestyle of the area. The Theatre Royal was once known as the most ornate building in New Zealand.

Caroline Bay was named as the 4th top beach in New Zealand amongst the 10 most-loved beaches in New Zealand by AA in 2014. The beach is sheltered by the harbour breakwater and is the only sandy beach between Oamaru and Banks Peninsula. Allied with the popular swimming beach is the annual summer carnival run by the voluntary Caroline Bay Association. The carnival has been operating for over a hundred years and is a traditional family affair with free concerts, rides and sideshow style games over the festive season.

The bay boasts many picnic areas, skate park and skating rink, boardwalk, with its piazza and views to the mountains, attracts visitors and locals alike.

Take a stroll along The Shakespeare Walk through the gardens and view the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden. It contains the largest collection of old roses in the southern hemisphere, or head on down to the beach via the port loop onto marine parade where you will be able to experience the penguins returning to their nests within the rocks at dusk.



Shopping can be done locally on Strafford Street, where you will find a variety of local, national and international stores.

There are some divine restaurants locally, especially up on The Bay Hill overlooking Caroline Bay.

The nearest cinema is Movie Max 5 Timaru which is located on the corner of Sophia and Cannon Streets.

Newly built Cbay aquatic centre provides a lot of fun for all ages. Cbay is home to a range of facilities including: Graze café, learn to swim classes, hydro slides, pools for all ages, including a 50m outdoor swimming pool, gym facilities with a range of Les Mills classes to attend.



  • Timaru Public Hospital
    Ph: 03 684 400
  • South Canterbury RSA
    Ph: 03 688 4123
  • Timaru Taxis
    Ph: 03 688 8899
  • Timaru Bus Timetable


The early childhood facilities in Timaru include:

  • Craighead Private Kindergarten
    Ph: 03 688 9054
  • North Haven Child Care and Education Centre
    Ph: 03 684 3801
  • Little Wonders Early Childhood Centre
    Ph: 03 686 0519 – Wai-iti Road Centre
    Ph: 03 688 8816 – Otipua Road Centre
  • Active Learners
    Ph: 03 684 8215
  • Glenview Kindergarten
    Ph: 03 686 0726
  • Hanan Kindergarten
    Ph: 03 684 5470
  • Kowhai Kindergarten
    Ph: 03 688 0285
  • Ranui Kindergarten
    Ph: 03 688 4469
  • Waimataitai Kindergarten
    Ph: 03 684 3419
  • West End Free Kindergarten
    Ph: 03 684 3996
  • ABC Marchwiel
    Ph: 03 684 4450


Primary Schools

The primary schools in Timaru are:

  • Gleniti School
    Ph: 03 686 0082
  • Bluestone
    Ph: 03 684 3706
  • Waimataitai
    Ph: 03 684 5566
  • Highfield Primary School
    Ph: 03 686 1419
  • Timaru South School
    Ph: 03 684 3704
  • St Joseph’s Timaru
    Ph: 03 688 1376
  • Sacred Heart Primary
    Ph: 03 688 8188
  • Timaru Christian School
    Ph: 03 688 1422
  • Grantlea Downs School
    Ph: 03 684 7706
  • Beaconsfield School
    Ph: 03 686 4819
  • Barton Rural School
    Ph: 03 688 4709
  • Oceanview Heights School
    Ph: 03 688 6452


Secondary Schools

Secondary Schools in Timaru include:

  • Timaru Boys High School
    Ph: 03 688 8588
  • Timaru Girls High School
    Ph: 688 1122
  • Mountainview High School
    Ph: 03 684 7039
  • Craighead Diocesan School
    Ph: 03 688 6074
  • Roncalli College
    Ph: 03 688 6003


Tertiary Schools

Tertiary institutes include:

  • Ara Institute of Canterbury
    Ph: 03 687 1800
  • Community College
    Ph: 03 684 6702



Timaru is well serviced by many sporting facilities to name a few:

  • Alpine Energy Stadium
    Ph: 03 688 8653
  • CBAY Aquatic Centre
    Ph: 03 684 2229
  • Southern Trust Events Centre
    Ph: 03 686 0461
  • Flip Out Indoor Trampoline Arena
    Ph: 03 688 2807
  • Kevin Hessell School of Swimming
    Ph: 03 684 8895
  • Sports South Canterbury
    Ph: 03 686 7051
  • The Dobson, Round Hill, Mt Hutt and Ohau ski fields are not far away.