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Timaru - Otipua Loop

Grade: Intermediate/Advanced

Time: 1.5 - 2 hours 

Users: Road Cyclists

Starting on the western outskirts of Timaru, this ride takes you into the countryside to the West of Timaru.

The route provides great views over Timaru, the South Canterbury coastline and surrounding farmland, in an area where many locals have established lifestyle blocks just a few minutes commute from the Timaru CBD.

Enjoy this easy ride of approx. 23 km, 1-2 hours, with an elevation gain of 193 metres.

About Timaru

The urban hub of South Canterbury, Timaru is just two hours drive South of Christchurch and a similar distance to Dunedin.

Find out more about things to see and do in Timaru here.


Park your vehicle in the carpark at the Southern Trust Events Centre in Morgans Rd.

Turn left into Morgans Rd as you leave the carpark.

Ride along Morgans Rduntil you arrive at the Morgans/Pages Rd “T” intersection.

Turn left into Pages Rd – after a short distance you will see a cycleway on your left to follow – note that this is a shared use path, designed for slow cycling and walking.

Continue along Pages Rd

At the “T” intersection just past the Gleniti Golf Course, turn right into Gleniti Rd.

Continue on the gentle uphill incline until you reach Brockley Rd.

Turn left into Brockley Rd. Follow Brockley Rd a short distance until you reach Claremont Rd.

At the stop sign, turn right onto Claremont Rd, and continue on a gentle climb to Whale Bones Corner.

This is the highest point on the ride, with great views towards both the sea and over farmland.

The whale bones on display here were taken from the beach at Timaru and erected in the late 19th century at the corner for local landowner Mr John MacIntosh, as a landmark for visitors travelling to his nearby Kingsborough Station homestead. The shelter for this historic landmark was built as a community project in the 1980s.

Castle Claremont

Nearby on Mount Horrible Rd (named after the volcano) is Castle Claremont, built in 1882 in neo gothic style by George Rhodes, as a wedding gift to his French bride, Henrietta.

The Rhodes family were one of the most influential settler families in early NZ European history; the wedding of George and Henrietta was the first to be celebrated in the then new Christchurch Cathedral.

Castle Claremont was built from of local bluestone and limestone by English stonemasons and finished with imported mahogany windows and fireplaces and English stained glass feature windows. The complex included a private Chapel and sat on 4,000 acres of farmland.

This historic home, which during its colourful history has also been Marist Brothers training centre and an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre, has been popular in more recent years as a functions and wedding venue.

At Whale Bones Corner, turn left into Fairview Rd.

Continue down Fairview Rd until you come to Brockley Rd (first left) or Barton Rd, 2nd left, where you will see Barton Rural School on the corner.

Either road is an option to travel back to the Southern Trust Events Centre carpark in Morgans Rd.

Follow either Brockley or Barton Rd until you reach Claremont Rd.

At Claremont Rd, turn right and travel back down towards Timaru until you reach the Give Way sign as you return to the suburbs at Wai-iti Rd.

At the Give Way sign, veer right.

A short ride down Wai-iti Rd will lead to Morgans Rd on your left.

Turn left into Morgans Rd and return to the car park at the Southern Trust Events Centre.
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