Vacation rentals in Geraldine
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Your guide to Geraldine
All About Geraldine
Located about two hours southwest of Christchurch in the Canterbury region of New Zealand, Geraldine is a laid-back community at the foot of the Southern Alps. The town, which sits on the Waihi River, comprises a handful of streets lined with art galleries, clothing boutiques, and farm-to-table cafes. It’s a good place to refuel or do some window shopping before taking advantage of the area’s real draw: its easy access to nature. South Islanders flock here for the abundance of outdoor activities throughout the year. Wooded hiking trails reign supreme at Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve, Peel Forest Park, and the Orari Gorge Reserve, while whitewater rafting and kayaking are popular on the Rangitata River.
Since Geraldine is close to a handful of mountains, skiing is a great way to spend a winter day here. If you want to go a bit farther afield, the town serves as a gateway to gorgeous Lake Tekapo and Mount Dobson, home to some of the best skiing on the South Island.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Geraldine?
Keep in mind that since New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite of those in North America. Summers run from December through February, and winter is June through August. Because of the wide array of outdoor activities here, there is no bad time to secure your Geraldine vacation rental. Unlike some other parts of New Zealand, Geraldine experiences four distinct seasons with long, hot summers that are great for hiking, and chilly winters that are ideal for skiing and snowshoeing. Spring is an ideal time to go whitewater rafting, when the melting winter snows fill the rivers with fresh water. In fall, the forests explode into a sea of autumnal colors. Some standout local events include Geraldine Ukefest, which celebrates ukulele music and features concerts and workshops every winter, and the all-ages Geraldine Festival in spring, where you can buy locally made crafts and check out local musicians.
What are the top things to do in Geraldine?
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
The entire Mackenzie Basin is included in this Dark Sky Reserve, the largest in the world, about an hour’s drive from Geraldine. You don’t have to do much to experience this amazing attraction: Simply wait until night falls, find a spot, and look up. Depending on where you look, the night sky may seem like a sea of twinkling stars and planets. If you’re here in winter, you might even get to see the Southern Lights.
Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve
Just 20 minutes from Geraldine, this forest was part of a timber milling settlement before it was designated a protected reserve. The park is home to some of Canterbury’s only remaining native bush, with trees more than a century old and a wide array of ferns and fungi. There are several walking tracks ranging from 30-minute hikes to all-day treks.
Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum
Featuring more than 2,000 vintage and lovingly restored vehicles, including more than 100 antique tractors and other farming equipment, across several buildings, this local museum is a reminder that you are in the middle of one of New Zealand’s most fertile farming regions. There’s even a biplane and a vintage motorbike with a sidecar equipped to carry a coffin.