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The Four Peaks Circuit - #TimaruCycleTrails

Grade: Intermediate

Time: 2 1/2 Hours

Users: Walkers/Dogs/Runners/Stock/Vehicles

Starting in the picturesque village of Geraldine and climbing to 230 metres above sea level on both sealed and gravelled roads, cyclists will enjoy expansive views of the township and its stunning surrounds. Views of Four Peaks, Mount Peel, the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains are plenty and native wildlife can also be enjoyed when passing the Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve and the historic Woodbury library and war memorial.

Geraldine was first settled by Europeans in the 1840s and in 1854 that Samuel Hewlings built the first bark hut in Talbot Street. Sheep runs were quickly established in the area together with pit saw milling of the native bush. When the bush had been cleared, wheat crops were grown across the plains. Originally called Talbot Forest, Geraldine was renamed FitzGerald in 1857 after the first superintendent of Canterbury, the Irishman James Edward FitzGerald. The name was finally changed to Geraldine, which was the FitzGeralds' family name in Ireland.

Geraldine’s reputation as a home to gifted artists and artisans is growing all the time and many of these talented people,have their work on sale in the town itself or from nearby studios. Some of the creations come in edible form – Geraldine’s cheesemaker, chocolatier and the internationally recognised Barker's fruit products all have outlets in the town. Also on display in a local shop is a recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry.
Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve is small forested reserve of 26 hectares and has large mataï,
kaikahikatea and tötara, which are centuries old. There is a network of short walks through the reserve, some of which connect with Timaru District Council walkways. Wood pigeons and other native birds enjoy the sanctuary of the reserve.

Woodbury is a small village located 8 km from Geraldine. It was originally settled in the 1860s and has a small library originally built by the pioneering Tripp family and run completely by local volunteers. Next to the Library is the War Memorial. It was built after the First World War to commemorate the soldiers lost.

Four Peaks is a 30,000 acres (12140 ha.) high country farm which was first first occupied in 1860. the four mountain peaks are Devils Peak 1,587 m, Fiery Peak 1,525 m, Waihi Peak 1,478 m and
Tripps Peak 1,653 m.

Mount Peel and Peel Forest offers more than first meets the eye. Views as far as the Port Hills in Christchurch can be seen as the area lies between Mayfield and Geraldine. Wildlife and well marked walking tracks lead into the native podocarp forest. They range from the famous 15-minute jaunt to the "big tree" -- a giant totara -- to the six-hour return tramp on Little Mount Peel.

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