Timaru (English: /ˈtɪməruː/; Māori: Te Tihi-o-Maru) is a port city in the southern Canterbury Region of New Zealand, located 157 km (98 mi) southwest of Christchurch and about 196 km (122 mi) northeast of Dunedin on the eastern Pacific coast of the South Island. The Timaru urban area is home to 28,600 people, and is the largest urban area in South Canterbury, and the second largest in the Canterbury Region overall, after Christchurch. The town is the seat of the Timaru District, which includes the surrounding rural area and the towns of Geraldine, Pleasant Point and Temuka, which combined have a total population of 48,500.
Te Tihi-o-Maru (Māori)
|Coordinates: 44°23′35″S 171°15′03″E|
|Territorial authority||Timaru District|
|Established||13 July 1868|
|• Mayor||Nigel Bowen|
|• Land||2,736.54 km2 (1,056.58 sq mi)|
|• Urban||33.98 km2 (13.12 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||95 m (312 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Urban density||840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+12 (New Zealand Standard Time)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+13 (New Zealand Daylight Time)|
|Local iwi||Ngāi Tahu|
Caroline Bay beach is a popular recreational area located close to Timaru's main centre, just to the north of the substantial port facilities. Beyond Caroline Bay, the industrial suburb of Washdyke is at a major junction with State Highway 8, the main route into the Mackenzie Country. This provides a road link to Pleasant Point, Fairlie, Twizel, Lake Tekapo, Aoraki / Mount Cook and Queenstown.
Timaru has been built on rolling hills created from the lava flows of the extinct Mt Horrible volcano, which last erupted thousands of years ago. The result is that most of the main streets are undulating, a clear contrast with the flat landscape of the Canterbury Plains to the north. This volcanic rock is used for the construction of local "bluestone" buildings.