First used as a resting place for Maori as they were rowing up and down this coast since the 1400s, they left over 500 rock carvings around the area, particularly in the rock overhangs and caves of the Opuha and Opihi river valleys to the west of Timaru. Later it was used as a whaling port in the early 1800's, in 1859 the ship "Strathallan" arrived from England, carrying a party of 120 immigrants, Timaru has never looked back since. Set on the coast of the Canterbury plains Timaru is well situated to serve as the main centre for the South Canterbury Region.
Wool, dairy products, sheep and beef meat have been the treasure's of this region and Timaru has several business that cater for, and have prospered from these industries. Timaru is also the second largest fishing port in New Zealand.
Tourism is a growing industry in Timaru and it has plenty to offer. In recent years the state highway 1 was rerouted around the town giving the town centre back to the locals, now it has beautiful gardens, a more people friendly landscape of paved areas, seating and many view points from which to enjoy the city’s setting between ocean and the alps, makes Timaru a great place to live and visit.
There are lots of activities in Timaru for all to enjoy, you can visit the Aigantighe Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, dine in one of the superb restaurants or cafes overlooking Caroline Bay, take a Dolphin cruise, watch a blacksmith demonstration at the port, visit the South CanterburyMuseum, enjoy the stunning Caroline bay and visit the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden, have a round of golf on one or more of the six local golf courses, take a tour of the DB Brewery, take a day trip on a scenic river gorge, go rockclimbing, mountain biking or swimming, catch a wave or two on one of the local surf breaks, the list is never ending, go, explore...
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