Timaru (English: /ˈtɪmər/;[3] 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.[2] 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.[2]

Te Tihi-o-Maru (Māori)
View down Stafford Street in 2006
View down Stafford Street in 2006
Timaru is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 44°23′35″S 171°15′03″E
CountryNew Zealand
Territorial authorityTimaru District
Established13 July 1868[1]
  MayorNigel Bowen
  Land2,736.54 km2 (1,056.58 sq mi)
33.98 km2 (13.12 sq mi)
Highest elevation
95 m (312 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (June 2022)[2]
  Urban density840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (New Zealand Standard Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+13 (New Zealand Daylight Time)
Local iwiNgāi 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.

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