Summer in Geraldine evokes memories of kiwi family holidays of yesteryear. It’s the kind of place where you arrive, take in a deep breath of fresh country air, let it all the way out and feel your whole body start to relax.
Time slows in Geraldine as the sunshine, birdsong and river sounds create a backing track to lazy days filled with as much, or as little, as you feel like doing.
With a range of accommodation, from camping grounds to luxury lodges, you’ll find a place to lay your head that will suit you down to the ground – whether in the centre of town or just minutes away in the countryside.
The small but perfectly formed town centre is compact and pretty, perfect for wandering, browsing boutique shops and sampling from the wide range of excellent eateries.
The art galleries, museums and classic cinema add to the list of things to see and do during the day, while the Geraldine Observatory is great for night-time stargazing.
Those with energy to burn will find the walks of Talbot and Peel Forests, plus the Orari River track bike tracks, offer plenty to keep you going. If you’ve got some New Year’s Resolutions to tick off, the trek to the summit of little Mt Peel is always a good achievement to kick off another year.
The Geraldine Domain is a great place to entertain the little tackers, with a shady playground area, swimming pool and plenty of space to learn to ride that bike from Santa. Throw a sausage on the gas barbie provided by the local Lions Club while watching the kids play.
The cool shade of the Waihi Riverside Walk is a great place for relaxed walks or head into native Talbot Forest for birdsong and sweeping vistas of the Canterbury plains from the hilltop vantage points.
The Heritage Trail offers insight into the history of Geraldine and will take you right around the centre of town. With a range of trails, you can walk all day around Geraldine or just stretch the legs between books and coffee.
The river gorges, Te Moana, Waihi and Orari, make for great picnic and swimming spots. They feel secluded and secret but are just minutes from town. Ask a local for directions and you’ll be slipping into the cool crystal-clear pools before you know it.
Geraldine makes a great base for exploring the whole region, with day trips to Tekapo and Aoraki/Mt Cook an easy option as well as Oamaru and the Waitaki Lakes.
Timaru, just a 35-minute drive away, is home to the glorious Caroline Bay, one of the South Island’s best love beaches. The Te Ana, the Maori Rock Art Centre, is not to be missed featuring the original art galleries of Aotearoa and the Scenic Reserve is great for walks and biking.
Don’t miss the weekly Farmers Market, for fresh produce, coffee, and live music.
Want to get away from it all and shake off the year? Head to Geraldine, naturally!