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Residing in the gorgeous region of South Canterbury, New Zealand, Timaru is a picturesque seaside city and major port which is a fine place in which to soak up New Zealand culture in total comfort and style. Undulating hills surround the port, which is blessed with a landscape which is at once beautiful and awe inspiring. The rolling slopes that give the port such a grand backdrop are remnants of the lava flows that once flowed from the summit of the Mt. Horrible Volcano, giving this region a storied geological history to go along with its unique appearance.
The township itself is an utterly pleasant stopover. A brilliant array of beaches makes this a tourist magnet, but the quaint charms of the city centre mean that it more than retains an air of rustic quality regardless of its burgeoning popularity. Coast and countryside combine to create scenery of a tranquil atmosphere which is nevertheless a wonderful horizon to behold.
The South Canterbury Museum
This is the central museum for the entire region, yet it is just a stroll away from the centre of Timaru, making it an unmissable stop for cruisers. The exhibits are hugely entertaining and far ranging, covering everything from the turbulent volcanic formation of the region to the fossil remains of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. It is also an amazing place to delve into the Maori culture, with rock art, ancient weaponry, and even early forms of raft to examine for the curious cruiser.
The Aigantighe Art Gallery
Situated on Wai-iti road, this is a stunning gallery which has set out to collect the finest art from all over the world since its founding in 1956. The decades of hard work of its custodians means that a fantastic range of artworks originating from places as far-flung as the Pacific, Europe and Asia have ended up within their varnished halls and sculpture garden. Dating from the sixteenth century to the present day, exploring this remarkable collection is an intriguing way to spend an afternoon.
The Timaru Botanic Gardens
Just south of the city centre, this remarkable collection of flora and fauna was first conceived in 1864, with its earliest donations between just a few ferns. Over the years, the development of this beautiful park has known no bounds, with a colourful cornucopia of plant life flourishing every spring. With bright pink rose bushes, towering conifers, and even South American cacti hosted by the pristine grounds, this is a natural attraction that will delight and astonish.
Avid shoppers should make Stafford Street at the centre of the town a top priority. A rustic aesthetic makes the spacious boulevards and ornate houses worthy of the trip in themselves, yet it is the diversity which attracts hundreds of shoppers. Small boutiques combine with well-known chains create an all-encompassing shopping experience, featuring everything from high fashion dresses to antique jewellery.
For superb service combined with gourmet dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients, make sure to book a table at Ginger and Garlic Restaurant. The atmosphere is thoroughly sophisticated, with talented piano musicians manning the keys to give the restaurant a chic soundtrack.
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