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Nestled at the foot of the rolling Hunters Hills just thirty minutes south of Timaru and with a population of around 3,000, Waimate was founded in the mid 1800’s as a sawmilling ‘Bushtown’, and remains a classic South Canterbury New Zealand rural town.  It is a popular gateway to the Waitaki Lakes and spectacular Mackenzie basin enroute to Aoraki/Mt Cook and Queenstown, or south to Dunedin.

Wide spacious streets, Edwardian buildings including several churches of historic importance, beautiful parks and gardens all create a relaxed friendly environment for both residents and visitors. The Waimate District is one of the few places in New Zealand where wallabies live in significant numbers. You can meet Waimate wallabies (the largest specimens found in New Zealand), up close in local wildlife parks.

Waimate Highlights

  • Bushtown Waimate Heritage Park, recreating the town's history of the early settler bushmen  and sawmilling totara tree forests. Guided tours by appointment.
  • An up-close encounter with tame wallabies including EnkleDoovery Korna
  • Speciality shops
  • Waimate Farmers market- Saturday mornings (Council carpark next to the library)
  • Waimate Historical Museum
  • A walk through native bush at nearby Gunns or Kelceys Bush
  • A scenic drive to take in points of historic interest
  • Horse Trekking through alpine backcountry with Adventure Horse Trekking NZ 
  • Waimate 50 Labour weekend recreation of the 1950's classic car street racing.
  • Waimate Historical Museum located in the original Court House, a neoclassical design built in 1879.
  • A scenic drive to take in points of historic interest
  • 4000 model vehicles at The Model Garage
  • Waimate accommodation in a boutique B&B like Te Kiteroa Lodge
  • Point Bush Estate Wineryand 'The Vines' Restaurant
  • Station life, hiking and hunting
  • Strawberry Fare, the December celebration of the delicious locally grown strawberry

For more information, visit the Waimate Information Centre, 15 Paul Street. Details Here.

Map of Waimate

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Adventure Horse Trekking NZ Ltd
Adventure Horse Trekking NZ Ltd From secluded hill country near Waimate in South Canterbury, ride quiet surefooted horses in the surrounding valleys, or over the breath-taking snow capped Southern Alps and high country stations, through snow fed rivers and alongside alpine lakes.

Butlers Fruit  Farm & Cafe
Butlers Fruit Farm & Cafe Easily found on SH1 just south of Timaru, the wagon load of huge strawberries at the entrance is a pretty clear message you’ve arrived at the iconic Butlers Fruit Farm & café. Butlers backpacker accommodation is open to all.

Kelceys Bush Farmyard Holiday Park
Kelceys Bush Farmyard Holiday Park Nestled in the Hunter Hills of Waimate, adjacent to native bush, Kelceys Bush Farmyard Holiday Park is unique, nature at its best. We’re one of New Zealand’s favourite camping grounds thanks to...

Makikihi Country Hotel
Makikihi Country Hotel Makikihi Country Hotel, a traditional country pub – with a real difference – just south of Timaru on SH1 within easy reach of events, attractions and conveniences – but far enough away that you can get away from it all!

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