First guest newsletter


Dear Guests,

We are writing to say thank you and to share news after our first 18 months in business. 

It has taken a while to find our feet after Covid closed us and our borders, so we have really appreciated your support during these challenging times. 

We have received wonderful feedback which has helped us to improve and been  motivational for our small team. I have attached a few Guest Reviews which might trigger some memories and prompt you to return with friends!  Guest opinions matter most, but we are also proud to have received critical acclaim as finalists in the Canterbury Heritage Awards and The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

So, what is new?

Brigitte and her interior consultant Jane Rennie found a monkey lamp and this monkey is now to be found climbing up the wall of the hall. Those of you who recall our glorious “monkey” wallpaper may understand why we needed yet another monkey climbing the wall! 

We have also mounted a collage of clippings from the 1900 Timaru Herald Newspapers that we found in the ceilings. Their original duty was to prevent a layer of sawdust insulation from falling through the old tongue & groove ceilings. Now they share a fascinating picture of South Canterbury and the World in 1900 when Canon Staples Hamilton was having his new Vicarage built. Bubonic plague had arrived in New Zealand and if you were not at risk of that you might have volunteered to fight in the Boer War!

To provide compelling reasons for visitors to stay more than one night we have identified some great activities to tempt you back for longer! Call it the Geraldine bucket list!

·         NEW! Self drive tours with our local Vicarage Guide who will share local history, explain farming practices and 
          connect you with the local community. 3.5 hours.

·         Talbot Forest native bush walks in the middle of Geraldine

·         Tales & Trails Walking Tour of Geraldine – 2 hours

·         The Geraldine Observatory – 2 hour evening session which operates whatever the weather

·         Tastings at Geraldine Cheese, Humdinger Gin, Barker’s Foodstore & Valley Brewing.

·         Art exhibitions at the Susan Badcock Gallery, McAtamney Gallery, The Mailroom and Merivale Fine Arts.

·         Saturday morning Farmer’s Market

·         Ilu and Bella Salu Day Spas offer a wide range of treatments and massages

·         Geraldine Museum and Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum

·         4WD tours up the Rangitata Gorge & into Mesopotamia Station or via the Ashburton Lakes to visit Mt Sunday which
          was Rohan’s City of Edoras in The Lord of the Rings. With

·         Peel Forest Horse Trekking

·         Peel Forest offers a range of beautiful Bush walks. You don't have to climb Little Mount Peel!

·         Golf at Denfield (18 holes) or Grandview (9 holes)

·         Walk along the boardwalk at Caroline Bay Timaru and visit Te Ana Maori Rock Art Centre

Our love for Geraldine has only been strengthened by all the positive comments from our guests.

Our pretty town with its quaint village foodie vibe and active arts scene has often been described as New Zealand's most beautiful town. For all these reasons we hope you will act as our very best ambassadors for The Vicarage Geraldine and “Destination Geraldine!”

Yours sincerely,

Michael & Brigitte Barker 
The Vicarage Geraldine

P.S. The big rain event hit the Geraldine area hard with the Waihi, Te-Moana, Orari and Rangitata Rivers in full flood. We are grateful that the Vicarage Geraldine is unharmed although the Waihi River walkway will need major repairs. I have posted some photos on Facebook.  @thevicaragegeraldine 

Posted by Michael Barker on June 17, 2021