Timaru is a port city about 160km south of Christchurch and many travellers stop here on their way along the coast. While not a major tourist destination, Timaru does offer a nice seaside location and a walkable historic centre. The few attractions can be seen in a day or two, but there are several annual festivals including the Festival of Roses and the Caroline Bay Carnival. Worthwhile activities here range from a brewery tour to New Zealand’s third largest public art collection and the sandy beach at Caroline Bay.
Timaru has a good local bus service with buses around the city and the surrounding region.
Most local bus fares are $2.40, $1.55 if you pay with a Metrocard. You can use the same Metrocard ticket that works in Christchurch, so this may be a good opportunity to use any remaining credit on your card.