Waimate New Zealand

General Information

Waimate is a town and a district in the centre of the South Island, New Zealand. It is ideally located 40 kms south of Timaru in south Canterbury, 20 kms to the north of the Waitaki River. As you get closer to the town, from the north, a white speck can be seen near the top of the hill range behind the town. This White Horse was made as a tribute to the Clydesdale horses that were used to break the surrounding land into grass.


The town has approximately 50 shops which have an Edwardian theme with an impressive collection of early 1900’s buildings lining the main street.


The district is bounded by the Waitaki River in the south, the Pareora River in the north and Hakataramea Valley to the west. A moderate climate is enjoyed in the summer and in the winter many mornings start with a frost resulting in sunny clear days.

Maori Translation of Waimate

The Māori translation of Te Waimatemate is ‘slow moving waters’.


There are many great tourist spots worthwhile visiting in Waimate. For the more adventurous try the many mountain bike trails available in and around the town catering for all abilities or maybe the leisurely walks are more your scene.


Te Waimatemate is the first name given to the district by the Maori that settled by the river, now known as Waimate.

W. B. D. Mantell and Charles Torlesse explored the district from 1848-1852.

Mid 1854, Michael Studholme and Saul Shrives arrived in the Waimate district to survey the area for pastoral runs. Michael Studholme spoke to the local Maori chief Huruhuru and made arrangements to ensure that the land boundaries and rights of the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) were not infringed upon. In 1855 Michael Studholme and his brother John received a pastoral grazing licence (the first of several) for 35,000 acres, by 1859; the Studholmes obtained a total of 98,500 acres for grazing. .....more.


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