Centennial Park (Scenic Reserve)

Popular Parks

Also known by many locals as the Scenic Reserve, Centennial Park was officially named in 1939 to commemorate the centennial of the Dominion of New Zealand.

The park is situated along the south western boundary of the Timaru urban area and straddles the north branch of the Otipua Stream. An area of nearly 65 hectares is included in Centennial Park.

It was the site of several quarries owned by the Timaru Harbour Board and private parties. Basalt rock was quarried for the harbour breakwaters over a period of about 75 years.

The park is popular for walking, jogging, mountain biking, exercising dogs, BMX, orienteering, picnics and the lake has been used for kayaking, Optimist class yachts and fishing.

Children like to feed the ducks or play on the playground equipment spread around the park. Two BBQs are also free to use in the lake area.

The Bowker Gateway was built in 1940 to acknowledge the gift of land linking Centennial Park to Otipua Road opposite Church Street. A condition of this gift was that no buildings could be built in this area to obscure the views.

Many deciduous trees provide rich autumn colours every year. Native vegetation plantings along the stream and northern slope provide a contrast to the open grassland and mature trees elsewhere.


Gates are opened each day, including weekends and public holidays at 6am, and are closed each day at dusk (see below). As a general rule, the following times will apply:

Gate Closing Times
May - July6pm
November - February10pm

 Please ensure your vehicle is removed before closing time.

 Pedestrian access to the park is available 24 hours a day.

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021