Riviera of the South Shines
Standing on top of Mt Cook, looking east towards the Pacific Ocean South Canterbury forms a square. The area swoops down to the glacial lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo, and the tussocklands of the
Mackenzie Basin. Eastwards, rolling hills rise and fall, flattening into the plains that stretch to the sea, while the braided Rangitata and Waitaki rivers make up the northern and southern boundaries.
Tīmaru, with a population of about 30,000 people, is also known as the “Riviera of the South”. It was given that name in 1950s promotional posters after a chamber of commerce member visited France and thought the two places were similar.
South Canterbury has three distinct districts – Tīmaru, including Temuka and Geraldine; Waimate, including the Hakataramea Valley; and Mackenzie, including Mackenzie Country and the Fairlie Basin.
The port city of Tīmaru is the main centre and surprisingly it is a quiet technology hub, with many R & D companies and a big support infrastructure employing highly skilled people, who can afford the
reasonable-priced homes on offer. Harcourts Tīmaru sales manager Susie Williams says all of Tīmaru is popular for buyers.