Temuka, South Canterbury New Zealand

“Located in stunning South Canterbury on the east coast of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island, Temuka is an ideal and incredible stop halfway between Christchurch and Dunedin.

As the central point between two of the South Island’slargest cities, Temuka offers a welcome and relaxing respite from the long coastal road. It also boasts a number of interesting attractions and sporting venues including:

  • Levels International Motor Raceway
  • One of New Zealand’s best and prettiest 18-hole golf course
  • Temuka Pottery & Stoneware Shop and Studio
  • The Richard Pearse Memorial – the man who beat the Wright brothers to fly!

Plus every Monday the town hosts the colourful “Wild West” spectacle of one of New Zealand’s biggest and most historic livestock sales.

Holidaymakers and visitors flock to Temuka in both summer and winter as it is within easy reach of some of New Zealand’s most popular activities. Timaru’s beautiful waterfront gathering place and host of the Caroline Bay Carnival, Caroline Bay is only 20 minutes drive away and only an hour drive to popular lakes and skifields including:

  • Lake Tekapo
  • Lake Pukaki
  • Mount Dobson
  • Mount Hutt

Temuka also offers some of the finest fishing in the world. Both brown and rainbow trout can be bagged, but the big contender is the quinnat salmon (November to April). A favourite fishing spot is where the Rangitata and Opihi Rivers meet the ocean.

Located 5 km south of Temuka, the settlement of Arowhenua has been the main centre of Māori life in South Canterbury since the mid-19th century. Today the Arowhenua Marae is a wonderful place to learn more about the South Island Māori culture and traditions. Book a Hui visit and experience the wonders of traditional and modern Māori culture.

Richard loves exploring and is only too willing to offer friendly and helpful advise on where to go and what to see.

Check out our Facebook Page – Phoenix Motels – for some spectacular photography of our region and destinations to visit.

Travelling Times:
New Zealand is not as small as you think. Click here to check out NZ travelling distances and you will get an idea of how long it takes to get from place to place.

Our Motel Complex is situated:

  • 209km North of Dunedin
  • 152km South of Christchurch
  • 203km East of Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • 104km to Lake Tekapo
  • 96km North of Oamaru
  • 12km North of Timaru

Phoenix Motel

215 King St, Temuka,
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 615 9680
Fax: +64 3 615 9685
Email: info@phoenixmotels.co.nz
Website: www.phoenixmotels.co.nz
Reservation: 0800 000 787


Attractions Near Temuka


Timaru is the largest urban area in South Canterbury. The city’s most popular holiday spot is Caroline Bay. There are plenty of recreational facilities catering for tennis, golf, bowls, yachting. Swimming at the new Aquatic Centre. Enjoy one of the many scenic walks including the Botanic Gardens, or take a stroll around the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden on Caroline Bay. If it is culture you are after, visit the Aigantighe Art Gallery or the South Canterbury Museum and go back in time in the southern hemisphere’s last remaining Landing Service Building.

The Richard Pearse Legend

The Temuka and inland Waitohi areas were once home to pioneer aviator and inventor Richard Pearse, who locals know as the man who flew before the Wright Brothers early in 1903.

As debate about this fascinating piece of local history continues, make up your own mind with a stop at the monument and replica marking the location of the self-powered flight of Pearse’s plane (only a few minutes drive from Temuka township).

Iconic Temuka Pottery and cafe

While not all New Zealanders have visited Temuka, most will have a little piece of the town in their kitchens! The township of Temuka has been home to the famous Temuka Pottery since 1930. In fact Temuka derives its name from the Maori “Te umu kaha”, translated as “the fierce oven”, an apt description for the heart of a pottery kiln! Why not stop at the Temuka Pottery Shop situated on theSH 1 bypass, open 7 days, grab yourself a coffee and have a look around.

The shop is operated by 100% Homemade Café. www.temukapottery.co.nz

Pleasant point museum and railway

Only 10 minutes from Temuka. The world’s only Model T Ford railcar runs daily during the summer. Steam Train AB 699 is fully operational and runs along the two kilometres of railway track. “Yesterdays history preserved for tomorrow.” Well worth a visit. And while in Pleasant Point go across the road to Legends Café, the original home of the famous delicious Denheath Custard Square.

Ski Areas

The town is a convenient base for winter skiers, and there are several ski areas within 2 hour’s drive including Mt Dobson, Fox Peak, Mt Hutt, Ohau and Tekapo.

Other nearby attractions

Peel Forest – A heritage, sub-tropical rainforest; rich and diverse. Covering an area of 700 hectares. Totora and matai grow strong in the forest and the song of the bellbird/korimako and grey warbler/riroriro light up woods to make Peel Forest a symbolic and significant place. Bush walks for all levels of fitness, from 10 minutes to whatever you desire! www.peelforest.co.nz

Kakahu Bush – A 365-hectare protected area, which has a diverse range of geological, botanical and historical features.

Barkers – 10-minute drive to Geraldine – world class jams, chutneys, syrups and condiments.


Take a drive through the picturesque town of Geraldine to Mesopotamia – “ the land between two rivers” – true middle earth. Breathtaking. Surrounded by the majestic Two Thumbs mountain range of the Southern Alps and the huge braided Rangitata River. The surrounding area provided the backdrop to many scenes from ‘ The Lord of the Rings.’