Activities

Geraldine is the perfect place to base yourself for two or more nights while you explore the hills, mountains, rivers, forests and beaches of beautiful South Canterbury. Geraldine itself has long been regarded as one of New Zealand’s most attractive towns, with a lush green English feel. The flat Canterbury plains stretch east to the sea and mountains rise up behind with spectacular river gorges and native bush to explore.

The Geraldine Walkway - A must do activity!

“Riverside rhododendrons and New Zealand native bush” 

Within 50 metres of the vicarage you will find the Geraldine Walkway, accessed via the Barker’s Foodstore & Eatery next door. Don’t miss this beautiful 30 minute walk along the Waihi River, through rhododendron dells and mature deciduous trees, to the North end of Talbot St.  Then either return along Talbot St, or cross the road and immerse yourself for 15 minutes in the beautiful native bush of Talbot Forest (The Matai Walk), before wandering back to the Vicarage. This is a one hour leisurely walk.

Around the town

Enjoy tastings of local foods including Barker’s of Geraldine drinks and preserves, Geraldine (Talbot Forest) Specialty Cheeses (taste the world's first deer milk cheese), Waihi Bush Organic flax seed oils, the Saturday morning farmer’s market, local cafes and bars.
Browse the weekend roadside craft market, art galleries and specialty shops.
Pamper yourself at a day spa.
Watch a movie in our historic cinema.
Visit the interesting Geraldine Museum and the Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Museum.
To familiarise yourself with Geraldine we suggest you book a two hour Geraldine heritage walking tour with the Tales & Trails walking tour (021 047 5087)

 

Embrace rural New Zealand

 We advise you to book in advance with these owner operators

  • Explore spectacular mountains and rivers in guided alps2ocean 4 wheel drive tours (0800 425 772), including "Lord of the Rings" tours.
  • Enjoy a slice of authentic New Zealand farming life with a visit to Geraldine Farm Tours. Get hands on with the animals and watch sheep being shorn (021 065 0574 or 03 692 2900). 
  • Horse trekking (0800 022 536) with Peel Forest Horse Trekking
  • Explore  Peel Forest and beyond into the epic Rangitata river gorge to Mesopotamia Station.
  • Drive to the coast and explore Timaru City (30 minutes).
  • Drive to Lake Tekapo (60 minutes) 

For the more active

  • Horse trekking 0800 022 536
  • Cycle tracks, 4 bikes for hire at Top 10 Holiday Park and for full day bike expeditions and options contact  www.alps2ocean.co.nz
  • Geocaching
  • Canyoning 0800 244 762, From 20th Oct - 31st Mar.
  • Golf courses. Denfield 03 693 9154 and Grande Vue 03 693 8396
  • Winter snow skiing at Mt Hutt, Mt Dobson and more

Walkways

  • Peel Forest is a special native bush conservation area, just 20 minutes away by car, offering both short and longer track options.  
  • If you are fit and have a day to spare you can climb Little Mount Peel - from the summit on a fine day you will enjoy panoramic views over Canterbury.
  • The Orari Gorge Scenic Reserve offers a short nearby native bush walk over varied terrain.
  • There are interesting walks at the Kakahu Lime Kiln & Pioneer Park.
  • If you enjoy a tramp (or hike) with or without packs, you need to pre-book the 3 to 4 day Four Peaks High Country Track.

 

 

The night sky

The Geraldine Observatory is the best equipped private observatory in the South Island and is operated by enthusiast Peter Aldous from his home observatory in Geraldine. He loves sharing his vast knowledge with small groups, so don't for one minute think that you have to be in Lake Tekapo to see the night sky. But do book in advance (03 693 7337 or [email protected])

Eating out

The Vicarage is located in the central hospitality precinct of Geraldine with eight cafes, restaurants and bars located within 200m. Three of these are right next door, and during the summer, the Geraldine Farmer’s Market is also next door in the Anglican Church grounds.

You will find information in your room about Geraldine’s abundance of activities 
Links to local websites for more information; 
www.geraldine.nz
www.aorakitourism.co.nz
https://southcanterbury.org.nz/event-directory/whats-on-event-calendar/
Or visit the Geraldine Information Centre in the Kiwi Country visitor complex.

 

EXPLORE GERALDINE ITINERARY

If arriving in town late in the evening, pre-order a platter for two to be delivered to your room. You’ll find a complimentary bottle of wine in your fridge, and port in the sitting room.

DAY ONE

From 8.30am:    Breakfast and browse at the Barker’s Foodstore & Eatery next door

Morning walk: Walk the Geraldine Walkway. Allow up to 1 hour plus another hour for browsing as you walk back down the main street!
OR: Walking tour (2hrs) of Geraldine with John Jenson 021 047 5087

As you stroll around the town – take in some art, history, local food & more:              
Susan Badcock Gallery featuring works by John Badcock (upstairs in the old Post Office)
The Mail Room (downstairs in the old Post Office next door to the Vicarage)
Merivale Fine Arts Gallery (opposite the Vicarage)
McAtamney Gallery & Design Store (100m North along Talbot Street)
The Geraldine Museum (100m along Wilson St, towards Lake Tekapo)
The Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Museum (1km away at 178 Talbot St)
Lilia's Lace Museum - 1.5km away at 240 Talbot St
Talbot Forest Cheese – in the BerryBarn complex opposite the Vicarage
Waihi Bush Organic Farms – Flax seed oils & much more, in the BerryBarn complex
Barker’s Foodstore & Eatery – taste the latest products and check out their drinks station!

And…really excellent speciality shopping - all within 300m of the Vicarage! Including….
Talbot Silver – locally owned and inspired designer jewellery – in the BerryBarn complex
Louk Clothing – NZ made clothing including Swazi – next door in the old Post Office
Tievoli Trading – Design store with a range of old, new, upcycled and reproduction items
The Cottage Pantry & Gallery – a yesteryear wholefoods experience and art gallery
Country Rumours – the retail home for many crafts people in the Geraldine District
Outline for women
Trio Boutique
Little Hero’s - children’s clothes
Joosh – giftware - with the Awa Whenua Museum of Maori artifacts and more in behind 
Frankie Did It! - Handmade, on trend or unique pieces of children’s clothing & gifts
AOK clothing - 100% natural fibre garments for women & men. Mail order.
Grandpa’s Toys – specialising in educational & wooden toys
Geraldine Alpaca Centre - NZ souvenirs including wool & alpaca wool garments
King's on Talbot - Shoe shop
Forget Me Not Gifts
Flowers Inc - Florist & gifts
The Kitchen Cupboard – boutique kitchenware
Kiwi Country & info centre – tourist centre & shop
The Geraldine Farmer’s Market – Saturday mornings next door beside the Church. Oct-Apr
The Geraldine Craft Market – On Wilson St. 8.30am-3.30 pm, weekends & public holidays

Lunch:   There are many establishments to choose from!
Barker’s Foodstore & Eatery 03 6939727 and Verde Cafe 03-693 9616 next door are hard to beat!

Afternoon restoration & relaxation;       Some men may choose a massage for some body repairs and maintenance while others may prefer to experience the repairs at the Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Museum. The ladies can choose a therapy or treatment to revitalise and rejuvenate at ilu unisex Day Spa 03 693 7130 or at Bella Salu 03 693 9960

Drinks: The downstairs sitting room and deck is a good place to gather. Then you may choose to stroll down to The Village Inn for another drink or two….

Dinner options – The first four are all within 200m on the main street.
The Village Inn. Good quality country hotel food. 03-693 1004
The Royal India restaurant 03-693 8877
Barker’s Foodstore & Eatery offers a casual dinner menu (gourmet pizza etc) on Friday evening's until 8.30pm. They also host pre-booked Dinner Parties for groups of twelve. 03 6939727
The Green Man at Peel Forest (15 minute drive) often has live country music – Thurs, Fri & Sat nights 03 696 3587
Valley Brewing Co – Fri & Sat nights (microbrewery) 10km along SH 79 to Fairlie 03-697 4959
Oxford Restaurant 03-688 3297. Approx 30 minute drive into Timaru.
Fusion Eatery – 03 688 8550 in Timaru, Approx 30 minute drive into Timaru
Stronechrubie Restaurant - 03 303 9814. Approx 30 minute drive North to Mt Somers on the inland Scenic Route

There is also a Fresh Choice supermarket and various take-away options including Indian, Fish & Chips, Hamburgers, Chinese & Subway filled rolls.  

After dinner - After dinner, wander up to the Geraldine Observatory 03-6937337 and be entranced with 2 hours of views and stories by Peter Aldous, Geraldine’s own hugely experienced amateur astronomer.

DAY TWO

Start your day with a slice of authentic New Zealand farming lifeGeraldine Farm Tours will show you a working sheep and beef farm and a leading deer farm and allow you to get hands on with farm animals.(021 065 0574 or 03 692 2900).

Enjoy a game of golf at Geraldine's superb Denfield Golf Course (5km from the Vicarage) 03-693 9154
or you can choose the shorter 9 hole Grandview Golf Course on the Downs 03 693 8396

If golf is not your thing, we suggest a drive to Lake Tekapo (one hour) with a lunch stop at the Fairlie Bakehouse for one of their famous salmon & bacon or pork belly pies. Or push on and enjoy the cuisine and views of the lake from the Kohan Japanese restaurant. We suggest you drive up Mt John ($8.00 road toll, 15 minutes drive to the top, beyond Tekapo) to enjoy a coffee in the Astro Cafe, the 360 views over the McKenzie country are stunning on a good day. From the town you can walk across the bridge to visit the iconic Church of The Good Shepherd and the McKenzie Sheep Dog Statue which recognises the value of the sheep dog.    

DAY THREE

Travel by car to Peel Forest and continue up the spectacular Rangitata River Gorge – drive as far as Mesopotamia Station 03 696 3738 (70km one way). Beautiful bush walks, history and the most breath-taking high-country scenery which Matt Searle shares on https://www.instagram.com/mailtomessy/- he takes these images on his daily 'Mail Run'.
We might be able to arrange a tour guide if you want some commentary

(If this is your last day, you will have plenty of time to drive home. If you are heading North, turn off after Peel Forest and cross the inland Rangitata River bridge and take the inland Scenic Route. If you are heading South, drive back through Geraldine.) 

DAY FOUR

Take a 30 minute drive into Timaru, the regional centre, and stroll along the Caroline Bay boardwalk which showcases the South Island's most popular beach. Visit the Te Ana Maori rock art centre, check out the cafes, bars, restaurants and shops as you walk up Stafford Street to the Bay Hill.  Read more here.
If you have time we suggest you detour via Pleasant Point and Raincliff on your way back to Geraldine to take in some local history and scenery. The Pleasant Point Railway Museum invites you to book a visit on Saturdays and Wednesdays - ring them first on (+64) 3 614 8323.  Drive through Pleasant Point then turn right up Totara Valley and through Raincliff to Pioneer Park which is a 390-hectare conservation area with links to the early settlers of the district. The Homebush Track is an easy 30 minute walk through native bush or you could opt for a longer 2 hour walk. Then drive back to Geraldine via Gudex Road, Skipton Bridge and SH79.