Central South Island

Sprawling between the South Island's east coast, the Southern Alps to the west and the Waitaki region to the south, Central South Island is a lively hotchpotch of home-grown New Zealand at its best.

Central South Island Destinations


Cheltenham House character Bed & Breakfast, Hanmer Springs Hurunui Tourism

Central South Island


The Central South Island boasts a number of motels, bed and breakfasts, and backpackers, suitable for every traveller. 

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Central South Island


From beaches and pottery, to wallabies and gardens, the Central South Island has you covered with a wide range of interesting activities.

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About Central South Island

From Maori rock art to jam and cheese; wallabies to pottery; strawberries to steam trains, the Central South Island is a lively hotchpotch of home-grown New Zealand at its best.

Timaru & Temuka, (originally ‘Te Maru’, meaning ‘place of shelter’) is the Central South Island’s main service centre. With a population of around 27,000, the seaside city of Timaru remains a relaxing destination. Home to an attractive swimming beach, top art gallery, beautiful botanic gardens and some great annual events, Timaru is an ideal family destination.

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How do you get to Central South Island?

  • Travel by Plane
    • Timaru Airport is located 8kms from Timaru central city. It is serviced by regular Air New Zealand flights to and from Wellington. Central South Island is also within two hours' drive of both Christchurch Airport and Dunedin Airport.
  • Travel by Train
    • There is no train service to the Central South Island.
  • Travel by Bus
    • Central South Island is well serviced by bus, shuttle, coach tours and transfers. Regular passenger services stop at several of the region's towns en route to both northern and southern destinations.
  • Rent a Vehicle
    • There are a small number of car rental companies operating in Timaru.