Geraldine has that country village atmosphere, with majestic old forests, early settler’s cottages and many little corners of arts and crafts. The friendliness, tranquillity and wealth of history of Geraldine make this popular tourist stop hard to resist. Geraldine was settled by Europeans in the 1840s - sheep runs were quickly established in the area together with pit saw milling of native bush. When the bush had been cleared, wheat and flax cropping became significant across the plains. Geraldine became a Town Board in 1884 and a Borough in 1905.
Just a 35-minute drive from Timaru and on the Inland Scenic Route (72) to Aoraki/Mount Cook, Geraldine offers an abundance of delicious locally produced gourmet food, great shopping for high quality gifts, souvenirs and merino wear and plenty of adventure activities nearby. Make sure you stop at the Four Peaks Plaza for highlights including Barker’s of Geraldine, Talbot Forest Cheese and more.
Barker’s of Geraldine is renowned for its jams, chutneys, fruit syrups and condiments, made on the Barker’s local farm with recipes handed down through the generations. Visit the store of this local and national favourite and stock up on a wonderful array of preserves, juices, jams and more.
Also, at Geraldine’s Four Peaks Plaza is Talbot Forest Cheese, where you can taste and buy from a wide range of artisan-crafted fine European cheeses, made with love with milk from local farms.
Geraldine is home to many nationally acclaimed artists which accounts for the many galleries and studios dotted around the town. Get your very own Badcock, Deavoll, or Woollcombe original and you might find yourself bumping into the artist in the street or in the same queue for coffee at a local eatery.
With cycling becoming more popular than ever Geraldine offers a great range of on and off-road cycling including the excellent Orari River Tracks, just a short drive from town, and PekaPeka Gully, right next to Talbot Forest in the centre of Geraldine.
Both Talbot and Peel Forests are wonderful places for short and longer walks. During the day hear the coo of the Kereru or catch a glimpse of cheek fantails and by night you might be lucky enough to spot the rare and endangered long tailed bat (Pekapeka).
The night sky in and around Geraldine is pristine so good star gazing can be enjoyed year-round but especially during the crisp clear winter nights. A visit to the Geraldine Observatory is a chance to learn about and marvel at the night sky with the supremely knowledgeable Peter Aldous.
And for those fans of the small white ball Geraldine is blessed with 2 golf courses and another dozen within a 30-minute drive of the town, surely this qualifies as golfing heaven!
Geraldine is quite simply the place to be!
For Local Activities see the above Directory Tab.
Geraldine Visitor Information Centre: 03 693 1101