Dashing Rocks

Walking & Off-road Cycling

Locality Timaru North, Map No. 3, Timaru 1 hour

Start from the northern end of the car park on Caroline Bay. Climb the walking track over Benvenue Cliffs and follow it along the top of Waimataitai Beach to Richmond Street. Turn right into Climie Terrace over the foot bridge to Moore Street.

Moore Street is the official start of the Dashing Rocks Walkway and is clearly sign posted. Follow the trees along the cliff top to the point where ancient lava flows from Mt Horrible met the sea. This point was once one of the coastal whaling lookouts, and the rocks below a favourite Maori fishing place.

From the rocks, the track follows the edge of the bay below and turns inland across a paddock to Pacific Street. Cross Pacific Street to Westcott Street and back to Richmond Street.

Follow the same route you came along above Waimataitai Beach with the railway line and Ashbury Park on the right. Opposite the site of the Benvenue wreck, past the old lighthouse, take the footbridge over the railway line, walk up Benvenue Avenue, around CBay Trust Aoraki Centre and down Virtue Avenue back to Caroline Bay.

For a shorter walk, start at Moore Street and walk around Dashing Rocks, through the paddock and back up Climie Terrace. This takes about 30 minutes.


  • Stunning views of Caroline Bay, Timaru and the port.
  • Rough seas can turn this pleasant scenic walk into a dramatic and exciting adventure with the waves crashing on the rocks below.
  • Site of the 1882 wrecks of sailing ships Benvenue and the City of Perth.
  • Dashing rocks - basalt base typical of the ancient lava flows underlying Timaru's coastal cliffs. The geometric shapes of the basalt columns are evident here. They were caused when the lava cooled and cracked in the regular shapes.
  • Occasionally seals and penguins can be seen in the bay.

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021