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Timaru, whose name comes from the Māori "Te Maru" (shelter), began life as two towns, one called Government Town and the other Rhodestown. The two towns met at George Street and merged in 1868. As Timaru's harbor was developed and its foreshore reclaimed, the Caroline Bay beach took shape and became a popular summer venue for its concerts and sideshows. Take a walk around the waterfront
area at Caroline Bay where various festivals and events are held throughout the year—catch the farmers’ market there every Sunday morning. There's a rose garden, semi-enclosed soundshell for outdoor performances, paddling pool, and play area; the boardwalk and sand dune area down at the beach are a great spot to unwind after a day in the car.
These days, Timaru is the urban hub for South Canterbury and is a two-hour drive south of Christchurch—close enough for a weekend trip but far enough away to have its own strong identity. Mountain-biking is a growing sport here with some good trails through Centennial Park Reserve in the city, and a number farther out in the hinterlands.
Sheep graze almost to the water's edge in the many small bays indenting the coastline of Banks Peninsula, the nub that juts into the Pacific...
Established in 1929, Arthur's Pass was the South Island's first national park. Follow in the footsteps of ancient Māori hunters, 1860s gold...