Visit Waimate

Waimate District is in the central South Island, 2 hours 45 minutes south of Christchurch, and roughly half-way between Timaru and Oamaru. 

Waimate is a gateway to the Waitaki Lakes and to the Mackenzie Basin.  We're just 134 kms from Lake Tekapo, making this popular destination an easy day trip while you're based in Waimate District.

Our rural setting, and the world-class recreational opportunities on our doorstep make the Waimate District an ideal place to experience quintessential New Zealand.

Click the destinations below to learn more


If you're heading to Queenstown, the Waimate route is an alternative to the Geraldine-Tekapo highway, and the roads aren't as busy. This option takes you into the Mackenzie basin via the stunning Waitaki Lakes, which are less well-travelled than Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo.

Approximate drive times:
34 minutes south of Timaru; 45km
41 minutes north of Oamaru; 47.5km
1 hour 40 minutes to Lake Tekapo; 134.5km
3.5 hours to Queenstown; 283km
2 hours 45 minutes to Wanaka; 228km
2 hours 45 minutes to Christchurch; 208km
2 hours 10 minutes to Dunedin; 158km 


The nearest airport is Timaru, and we are a scenic drive from the South Island's international airports.

Approximate drive times:
Timaru Airport 46 minutes
Christchurch Airport 2 hours 38 minutes
Dunedin Airport 2 hours 33 minutes
Queenstown Airport  3 hours 25 minutes


Bookings at the Waimate Information Centre. There are daily bus services between Christchurch and Dunedin that stop in Waimate, or at the Waimate turn-off.