Timaru is a port city in New Zealand's southern Canterbury region, with population around 30,000. The port is located approx 157 km (98 mi) southwest of Christchurch and approx 196 km (122 mi) northeast of Dunedin..
Timaru is the 2nd largest urban area in Canterbury Region - after Christchurch. The district also includes the surrounding rural area and the towns Pleasant Point, Temuka and Geraldine, with combined population around 50,000. A popular recreational area is Caroline Bay beach, located near the city centre and to the north of the port facilities. Washdyke's industrial suburb is at a junction with State Highway 8 - the main route into Mackenzie Country.
The city was built on hills that emerged from lava flows of the extinct volcano Mt Horrible. As result, most of the main streets are undulating. The volcanic rock is used for construction of "bluestone" buildings. Region's main museum (South Canterbury Museum) contains exhibits relating to geography, environment, Maori rock art, early settlements, fossil remains, local maritime history, natural history collection, scrimshaw, also information about the local inventor Richard Pearse (1877-1953).
The established in 1956 "Aigantighe Art Gallery" in Wai-iti Road is South Island's 3rd largest art museum. It holds a collection of Pacific, Asian, European and NZ art works from the 16th century to present day and also has a sculpture garden.
As popular tourist attractions, Timaru has a number of public gardens, parks and open spaces. Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden is part of Caroline Bay Park. Bay Area's parkland has roller-skating rink, mini-golf course and staging for live music events. It also homes the annual Summer Carnival which takes place over Christmas and New Year holidays. Among the cruise shore excursions offered from Timaru are Aoraki (Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain - 3724 m / 12220 ft) and Mackenzie Country (Mackenzie and Waitaki Districts).
In February 2017, the top-luxury cuise ship Seabourn Encore (christened in January 2017) broke up its mooring lines and collided in the port with a cement carrier (Milburn Carrier II). Following the accident, the port authority PrimePort Timaru announced its plans to purchase and install high-capacity storm bollards at the docking wharf.
Timaru cruise terminal
Primeport Timaru receives calls from smaller-sized luxury cruise ships. Passengers are disembarked at short walking distance from downtown. The port has infrastructure plans to build new bollards for its main berth, to allow docking of longer / larger liners.