Pareora & Maungati

Wear comfy shoes, jump in a car and head to Mt Horrible and Pareora Gorge. There is is so much free fun to be found.

Find fossils in the Pareora River: You can wade and paddle in the ankle deep river near the Evens Crossing Ford. P:ark by the river, unpack a rug and a picnic and spend the day swimming, throwing rocks, catching cockabullies. Look for limestone rock that is smooth on one side, with fossils that could be 50 million years old on the other side. 

Walk to the dam: Timaru's water source, you can walk along the original water race for about 40 minutes. There is a marked track. While swimming near the dam is not advised, there is plenty of shade for a picnic. See details on the TDC site here.

Listen for native birds at Claremont Bush: It takes about 30mins walking up hill through a macrocarpa plantation to kahikatea and kowhai. See if you can spy or hear bellbirds(korimako), fantails (piwakawaka), riflemen (titipounamu), grey warblers, brown creepers, and native pigeons (kereru). A wonderful WuHoo is to see the rare native climbing daisy with a bright yellow flower can sometimes be seen in this bush. The turnoff to Claremont Bush Road is abour 2km from the zigzag. If you get to the Pareora River bridge you have gone too far. There is a great voluntary effort for trapping pests to help the native flora and fauna.

See Māori Rock Art: The Te Manunui Rock Art Site is one of the few sites that are accessible to the public from 215-275 Frenchmans Gully Road, Maungati. Tangata whenua believe the bird figure ‘Te Manunui’ (the Great Bird) represents New Zealand’s now extinct Pouakai or the Haast eagle (Aquila moorei, previously Harpagornis moorei) that was associated with the Canterbury area. It is easy to get to and the drawigns are clear. A wonderful place to take your family and visitors and to raise public awareness and appreciation of Māori rock art and educating the public about the earliest stages of human habitation in New Zealand.

Take a breather at the Peace Walk: - Rongomaraeroa is a Cherry Tree Walk that was established in 2009 in the memory of Peter Elworthy. While the land is privately owned, the public is welcome. 143 Timaunga Rd, Maungati

See an old limestone kiln: Lime was burnt in small kilns near limestone deposits in South Canterbury from the 1860-1880s. The lime was used as fertiliser for agriculture and as mortar in the building industry and the tanning in de-hairing hides. You can see the pareora Lime Kiln on Pareora River Road. Leg Des: Lot 1 DP 5952 Pt Lot 1-4 DP 4618. Des: Site of first locally burnt lime, built in 1865, then 1882.

Remember the efforts of those gone before: There is a memorial at Holme Station Corner marking the efforts of the locals for over a century. The first sale was on February 11 1908. Farmers, went along to get an idea of the price to expect for their sheep. The sale always had "a community feel" and it was always great to see the same people each year.  It was the women of the district who were the catering team, they were volunteers, and enjoyed the day as much as anyone working together in the small corrugated tin shed and catching up on the social chatter. They always pulled together to put on the morning tea with fruit cakes and sandwiches.The sale was often during the week but when it fell on a school holiday the farmers would bring their children and wives along and they all knew each other from school. The children played and ran around the sale yards and around the the stock trucks creating a life time of memories. The sale yards are on the corner of the Pareora River Road and Holme Station Road.

For the advanced try all 34 routes rock climbing up Mt Horrible: The landownders are Penny and David Seyb. There is no need to contact them before climbing. Please observe the usual courtesies and show respect while climbing on their land. Mt Horrible is a plug of quality basalt very close to Timaru. If you enjoy trad climbing on good pro and sound rock then this is the place for you. The routes are quite short but have an abundance of well-rounded holds and cracks that vary from finger width to semi off width.