South Canterbury is brimming with interesting history - our Maori and European heritage tells many stories. Originally a safe haven for the weary Maori travellers who canoed along the often treacherous and shelterless coastline, Timaru was briefly settled as a whaling station in the late 1830s. Timaru was sparsely populated until 1858 when the English ship Strathallan arrived with 120 immigrants. Many descendants of the original settlers still live in the region today. The town has grown around its port and agricultural beginnings and now embraces strong manufacturing and service sectors as well.
Home of ancient Maori Rock art
Long known for its rolling hills, stunning mountain views and relaxed pace of life, the South Canterbury region hides a lesser known secret of enormous cultural and historical significance. Ancient limestone caves and overhanging rock shelves have formed hundreds of ancient natural art galleries, used for centuries by local Maori to tell the stories of their lives and pass a legacy of precious information down through the generations. Visit Te Ana, the world’s only Maori Rock Art Centre and then join a Te Ana Rock Art Tour to explore the regions hidden gems and follow the same paths as the people who created the rock art – a journey through time, seasons, earthly and spiritual worlds.
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Timaru District Council Telephone: 03 687 7200