Geraldine artist John Badcock shares his top tips for visiting this South Canterbury town.
Geraldine gets its charm from the mountains, rivers, forest and art. It is a small, quaint town within the Canterbury Plains, surrounded by braided rivers.
It is a special place to visit because of its tight-knit community, and its shopping area and eateries, galleries and riverwalk are in all in close walking distance. Talbot Forest and the Four Peaks mountain range is right on our doorstep. The town is also a stop-off spot for travellers on their way through to Mackenzie Country, Central Otago or back to Christchurch.
Visit one of the locally owned cafes, such as Verde for a scone, salad or their seafood chowder and sit out in their beautiful garden. Barkers Foodstore and Eatery has an incredible menu where most of their products are included in their dishes and available for tastings. And try the homemade pork pie. My iPad art of the Rangitata is on the wall above the eatery and the riverwalk on the bifold doors.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Then pop into The Old Post Office building on Talbot St, which is one of the top heritage buildings in Geraldine. Upstairs has the Susan Badcock Gallery, which exhibits local artists with landscapes of the South Canterbury region and portraits of the locals, as well as internationally renowned artists, and has great views over the town.
The Mailroom has a gallery gift shop with a selection of NZ-made artisanal products where you can get a piece of Auckland in Geraldine. For outdoor clothing, head to Louk.
Take a stroll down through the River Garden Walk and back up through the town and pop into a selection of shops. Watch a movie at the heritage theatre, the Geraldine Cinema. Visit the Giant Jersey hung high in the town's visitor centre. See the museum and, in the same vicinity, Four Peaks Plaza, where you can get some of our local cheese, a favourite being the Peel Forest Blue.
Duck into Frankie Did It for some gorgeous kids' clothing, check out the Saturday Market through the summer months for local produce, swim in the outdoor heated pool and play in the playground or sit under the trees for a picnic.
Twenty minutes out of Geraldine, walk up Little Mt Peel if you feel like a bit of a hike and then head for a coffee at The Green Man. Or if you feel like something less strenuous within Geraldine, take a walk through Talbot Forest and around The Downs.
Some other "secret" spots include a visit to Te Moana Gorge, Waihī Gorge, and Peel Forest.