ASURE Ashley Motor Lodge

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Activities in Timaru

Are you looking for things to do in Timaru, such as popular attractions & activities? The second-largest city in Canterbury, Timaru sits about midway between Christchurch and Dunedin. It has everything you need for a pleasant stopover. Take a break in Timaru and enjoy Caroline Bay's safe swimming beach, landscaped piazza and walks.

A collection of restaurants and cafés link the beach to the main shopping area. If you’re thirsty, consider a tour of the local brewery. The city’s excellent museum has moa-hunter artefacts and all kinds of whaling relics; the art gallery holds the third largest public art collection in the South Island. Read on below for more things to do in Timaru.

Caroline Bay

Spending time here is one of the most popular things to do in Timaru through the summer. Timaru's famous Caroline Bay is popular as a safe swimming beach with locals and visitors. Holiday makers have been attracted to the popular, sandy beach and its iconic summer Caroline Bay Carnival for over a century.

The beachfront area has many Timaru attractions including scenic lookout points, popular beachfront boardwalks, and you can enjoy activities such as the children's playground areas, paddling pools, a skating rink and numerous picnic spots.

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Aigantighe Art Gallery

The South Island's third-largest public art museum collection, featuring: New Zealand, Pacific, Asian and European art works from the sixteenth century to the present day, a British Victorian painting collection and in the modern wing regional, national and international exhibitions are shown.

The sculpture garden with work by African, Japanese and New Zealand sculptors is always open.

Opening hours: 
Tuesday to Friday 10am - 4pm
Weekends 12 noon - 4pm

Closed December 25th & 26th and January 1st.

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DB Draught Brewery

DB Draught Brewery brew and package some of New Zealand's most iconic beer brands including DB Draught, Export Gold, Tui and Monteith's.

Join one of our tours for an intimate beer experience as we take you through the brewing process. See how beer was delivered in the good old days by viewing the historic DB Draught wagon. This is one of the ultimate Timaru attractions.

Beer Necessities (beer gear shop): Open Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

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Fox Peak - Ski & Board

Open only on weekends, Fox Peak Ski Field is an 1 hr and 15 mins drive from Timaru. The area does not offer equipment rentals so arrange them before you arrive.

Operated by volunteers from the Fox Peak Ski Club, Fox Peak offers day passes to the general public. Season Passes are only available to club members. Family, Couple, Adult and Student rates available.

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Mount Dobson Ski Area

Sitting on the southern end of the Two Thumb Range in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

The Mt Dobson Ski Field sits in a wide, sunny basin that collects fantastic powder and offers superb views and wicked trails.

Mount Dobson Ski Area

Mountain Biking

Just a short distance from ASURE Ashley Motor Lodge is Centennial Park which is Timaru's main mountain biking area.

There are a number of trails that you can mix up through the many paths to give yourself a little variety.

Centennial Park offers a great scenic experience where you will view a mixture of native bush, pines, gums, oaks and other exotic trees. There are also many walking paths for those who wish to take their time to enjoy the scenery.

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Public Gardens and Parks

Timaru is often called the "Rose City" - not surprising given the fact that Timaru's renowned public gardens, the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden (featuring over 1200 rose varieties) and the town's Botanic Gardens have both won national awards.

Timaru attractions include the Festival of Roses, a popular annual event held in November and attracting thousands.

Wandering through these beautiful gardens and onwards to Caroline Bay is one of the iconic things to do in Timaru.

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South Canterbury Museum

Exhibits relating to physical geography and the environment, fossil remains, Maori rock art, the early settlement of the district, local maritime history, scrimshaw, the E P Seally natural history collection, and information about Richard Pearse, a local inventor and his attempts at manned flight in the first years of the 20th century.

Open Tuesday to Sunday, and most public holidays.


Speight's Ale House Timaru

Located in central Timaru near Timaru Port, these guys truly live up to their motto of being "generous without fault".

Located in the historic Landing Service Building, which was built between 1870-1876, the building is lovingly restored by the Timaru Civic Trust and looks incredible.

They have an incredibly varied menu with a huge range of options as well as offering kids meals, bar snacks and set menus.

Open 7 days from 11.30 am till late.

Speights Ale House Services 2 South Canterbury

Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre

See the most significant collection of ancient Maori rock art in New Zealand. Share tribal stories and traditions with our local Maori guides. Deepen your knowledge of Maori rock art on our rock art site tours as our guides share the stories of our ancestors on the same trails that they once traveled.

Hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00am - 3:00pm.

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Movie Max Digital

If you are an avid movie buff hoping to watch the latest blockbuster, be sure to check out Movie Max Digital in Timaru. Located next to United Video, it has plenty of parking spots available and is only 4 minutes’ drive from the motel.

If you get a rainy day and are looking for things to do in Timaru on a bad day, this place could make your (and your children's) day.

It is also a venue for National Theatre LIVE where you can watch the best of New Zealand Theatre & Metropolitan Opera shows.

They have a range of special deals including a Cinema hire service to organise events and movie marathons.

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