Bernard Spragg. NZ on Wikipedia© Bernard Spragg. NZ on Wikipedia
Bernard Spragg. NZ on Wikipedia

5 Best Things to Do at Pleasant Point

© Bernard Spragg. NZ on Wikipedia
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What to Do at Pleasant Point: Canterbury’s Pleasant Little Town

If you love scouting out small towns and hidden gems, then you’ll love the little town of Pleasant Point. Located on State Highway 8, just north of Timaru, Pleasant Point is your classic rural Kiwi town. It has pleasant outdoor areas along the Opihi River to enjoy long strolls or mountain biking. Or, if you’re more into relaxation, enjoy the quaint cafes and fruit farm ice cream parlour. The must-see in the town is the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway, home to some of the oldest remaining steam trains in the country. Find out what you could be getting up to with this list of things to do at Pleasant Point!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 10 Things to Do in Timaru and 6 Essential Pitstops for Your South Canterbury Road Trip.

1. Walk Along the Opihi River

The Opihi Walkway puts the “Pleasant” in Pleasant Point with an attractive area to stretch your legs. Walk or cycle along this walkway starting just outside of town and following the banks of the Opihi River. The trail is lined with willow trees, often breaking to expose views of pastoral land leading all the way to the mountains. As the trail approaches Pleasant Point, you’ll see the Parr’s Waterwheel, which also marks a popular swimming spot. The entire one-way walk takes approximately three hours to walk, so either have transport organised at the other end or return the way you came at any point.

Location: Arowhenua Road (about 100m/109 yards before the State Highway 1 bridge), 11km (7 miles) east of Pleasant Point.

brian nz on Flickr© brian nz on Flickr

2. Visit the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway

A major highlight of the town, the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway will transport you back over a hundred years to the days of the steam railway travel. Catch them for one of the train ride days. They have two steam engines, two diesel engines and one of the world’s last remaining Model T Ford railcars. You’ll also be able to pop into the museum to see some railway memorabilia, displays on New Zealand’s worst railway disaster at Tangiwai in 1953, as well as some old printing machines and computers. All in all, there’s certainly a lot to see at this 150-year-old train station.

Location: Afghan Street

Bernard Spragg. NZ on Wikipedia© Bernard Spragg. NZ on Wikipedia

3. Sample the Local Cuisine

There’s certainly something for foodies at Pleasant Point. Summer calls a stop at Strawberry Divine with its real fruit ice cream, vintage decor and picturesque garden. You’ll also find Kiwi country meals and roasts at Nelly’s Restaurant or classic Kiwi fish and chips at Pleasant Point Fish N Chips. Don’t know what to try? See 15 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand.

Location: All around Pleasant Point

Brennan.hawkins on Wikipedi© Brennan.hawkins on Wikipedi

4. See Historic Maori Rock Art

See a collection of ancient Maori rock art Te Ana cultural centre. This open-air display of Maori art on caves walls and rock art cut from sites around the country provides an interesting insight into the Maori history of New Zealand. Te Ana is on a private site just a short drive from Pleasant Point. You will need to book a tour with Te Ana Maori Rock Art to visit the site.

Location: Te Ana cultural centre

Alexander Turnbull Library on Wikipedia© Alexander Turnbull Library on Wikipedia

5. Visit Temuka

Head to the nearby town of Temuka for more fantastic museums, cafes and walks. The creative town has a pottery studio, while there’s also plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors like the Temuka Domain and the Opihi River. Plus, don’t miss a “sale day” at the historic Temuka Saleyard where stock is sold and you can watch Kiwi farmers in action. Find out more in the 5 Fun Things to Do in Temuka.

Location: Temuka, 14km (9 miles) east of Pleasant Point

Phillip Capper on Wikipedia© Phillip Capper on Wikipedia


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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