Tick Off Your Reading List At New Zealand’s Independent Bookshops

Bookcase jam packed with books at The Last Chapter, Wānaka.

Bibliophiles gather around; here's your comprehensive guide to New Zealand's best bookshops. Each of these fiercely independent bookstores brings a strong sense of personality, enriched by the culture and history of the towns they call home. 

From North to South, from mystical fantasy to heartfelt memoirs, there's plenty to tickle your bookish brains at these local spots. So clear your shelf and break out your Good Reads list; here's where to get your literature fix across Aotearoa.  

Timaru Booksellers

Close up of modern fiction for sale at Bay Hills Books in Timaru, New Zealand.
Place South Canterbury Timaru

There is something quite special about stumbling across small, independent booksellers. Timaru Booksellers, in the heart of Timaru, is definitely one of those petite treasure troves for literature lovers.

Susan Badcock Gallery & The Mailroom

Artwork and sculpture at Susan Badcock Gallery,  Geraldine.
Place South Canterbury Geraldine Editor's Pick

Explore this unconventional gallery space where contemporary artworks by Susan Badcock and the wider creative Badcock family are showcased alongside other New Zealand artists.

77 Art + Living

Art on display on a brick wall and a colourful chair on a wooden floor at 77 Art + Living in Fairlie.
Place South Canterbury Fairlie

Fairlie might not be the first town that comes to mind when thinking of wonderful independent galleries across the motu, but 77 Art + Living is here to change that.

The Little Red Fox

The inside of The Red Little Fox store in Fairlie.
Place South Canterbury Fairlie

The Little Red Fox is a contemporary fashion store located in the Mackenzie country town of Fairlie. Housed in a high ceilinged, stone-clad building in the centre of town, natural tones and raw wood beams set the scene for a pleasurable browsing experience.

Petronella's Gallery and Bookstore

Woman looking at books at Petronella's Gallery and Bookstore, Tekapo.
Place South Canterbury Lake Tekapo
Galleries and museum key icon.

Lake Tekapo’s only independent bookstore, Petronella’s Gallery and Bookstore, offers a sanctuary for both book and art lovers.

York St Gallery of Fine Art

Art on the walls and sculptures on the floor inside York Street Gallery in Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru

Creatives of Canterbury rejoice—York Street Gallery of Fine Art in Timaru is here to satisfy your art cravings.

Humdinger Gin Distillery

Bottles of gin lined up in a row waiting for stickers to be placed on them at Humdinger Gin Distillery in Geraldine.
Place South Canterbury Geraldine
Goods key icon.

 There’s a sense of discovery when walking down the alleyway off the main street in Geraldine to a former garage workshop, which has been refurbished to house the...

Black & Co

Taxidermy chicken at Black & Co, Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru
Fashion key icon.

Black & Co is located in the south end of Timaru’s CBD and focuses on quality fashion pieces for men and women, luxurious homewares and unique jewellery, the store is a must-visit.

Geraldine Cheese Company

Geraldine Cheese Company exterior.
Place South Canterbury Geraldine
Goods key icon.

Geraldine Cheese Co. handcrafts small-batch cheese varieties in its petite factory in the heart of Geraldine town centre.

Matilda & The Metalman

A bed made of linens and cushions at Matilda and The Metalman, Fairlie.
Place South Canterbury Fairlie

Matilda & The Metalman sits neatly in a large corner shop space on Fairlie’s main street.