The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45
This important town is situated 100 miles from Christchurch, and 130 miles from Dunedin. The population is about the same as that of Oamaru, and the surrounding country is one of the richest districts in the Middle Island. In an architectural sense Timaru in not a handsome town, many of the principal buildings being constructed of heavy-looking bluestone. Still the charming situation of the town and the page 37 beauty of its surroundings make up for its architectural shortcomings. The port of Timaru has long had the name of being a very dangerous roadstead for vessels; but in the course of a few years, when the breakwater now in course of construction is completed, this prosperous place cannot fail to become one of the leading maritime towns in the Colony. The hotel accommodation at Timaru is all that can be desired. The tourist can pass a day or two here with advantage. There are three dailies and one weekly journal published here. There are two trains a day to the City of the Plains, as Christchurch is popularly called. The run through occupies about six hours. The thriving townships of Temuka and Ashburton are passed on the route, and the scenery as the train approaches the city is extremely pleasing. This portion of the Provincial District of Canterbury is for the most part flat and level. After leaving behind the romantic hills of Otago, the tourist will doubtless consider the scenery tame and uninteresting. But as his eye rests on the broad fertile plains, dotted with green groves and pleasant looking clumps of timber, which surround numbers of warm and snug-looking homesteads, he cannot fail to be impressed with the loveliness of the country. The effect in late spring and early summer, when the long lines of gorse hedges are ablaze with their golden blossoms, and the numerous orchards are dressed in brightest verdure of richest green fringed with pink and silver, is really charming.
When the tourist arrives at the railway terminus he will be struck with the fine brick-built station, workshops, and offices, which are erected here. The station is situated about half a mile from the Chief Post Office, and a number of hansom cabs and 'busses are always in waiting to convey passengers to the centre or any other portion of the city.