We've Done the Hard Yards to Bring You the Best Boutiques and Galleries of South Canterbury

Interior view of Dead2b.

The finest galleries and boutiques dotted around South Canterbury.

Words by: Petra Nyman

Photos by: Nancy Zhou

The South Canterbury towns of Timaru, Geraldine and Fairlie are dotted with interesting boutiques, galleries and stores to explore. If you don’t know where to look for the good stuff, you might pass by without knowing what you’re missing out on. Luckily for you, we’ve done a thorough look around these towns to make sure we can point you in the right direction for the best shopping around the region.

From popular fashion to art galleries filled with unique original arts, and from carefully curated gift stores to good old-fashioned craft shops, there’s much to discover and appreciate in this part of the country. Let us take you on a tour of the best boutiques and galleries in South Canterbury, and you may just come away with a new appreciation for these cute wee towns all within easy reach from the big smoke of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

 

Susan Badcock Gallery

Old Post Office Building 47 Talbot Street, Upstairs, Geraldine

A celebration of a family of artists, the Susan Badcock Gallery showcases works by five generations of the creative family. Wander up the stairs of the Old Post Office Building in the heart of Geraldine and find the intriguing gallery with its many rooms. Other local artists are invited to exhibit their works in the gallery as well, so there is always something new to see. Susan is a huge advocate of South Canterbury art and works at the gallery herself most of the time either in her studio, where she hand-paints her stunning black & white photographs or behind the gallery desk.

Two bird prints leaning against the wall at Susan Badcock Gallery.

The Mailroom

47 Talbot Street, Geraldine

The beautifully collated and stunningly displayed gallery store — named aptly with a nod to the building’s history — The Mailroom, is a lovely encounter when in Geraldine. Pick up some well-made homewares, gifts, jewellery and hand-made ceramics in-store, plus art, of course, and take in the styling, which showcases examples of how you can incorporate art into your own home. There’s also a notable selection of luxury accessories by Deadly Ponies, as well as New Zealand sheepskins and stools by designer, Martino Gamper. 

The Mailroom shop within the Susan Badcock Gallery, Geraldine.

Frankie Did It

Four Peaks Plaza, 72 Talbot Street, Geraldine

Pop into children’s lifestyle boutique, Frankie Did It, for all you might need for your little one. Each item in store has been handpicked for its story and quality, by shop owner and operator, Katrina. You’ll find plenty of giftware, clothing and accessories with a focus on handmade, organic and uniqueness at this beautiful, petite store. Whether you’re after a special gift for a new soon-to-be-born member of the family or wanting to stock up on children’s products for your own use, there is plenty to choose from here.

Shelves of children's toys and wears at Frankie Did It.

Mint Boutique

72 Main Street, Fairlie

Mint is a tiny fashion store tucked in Bobby Square behind the famous Bakehouse in Fairlie town centre. Filled with a mixture of pre-loved and new designer items, browsing through the racks in this quirky corrugated iron-lined store is bound to have you picking up something unique. Mint Boutique aims to provide something for everyone, so you can expect to find a number of styles and garments from knitwear to swimwear and eyewear to footwear. There’s also a bunch of gifts and homewares to top it all off.

Hand picking up a pair of trousers off rack at Mint Boutique, Fairlie.

Polly’s Patchwork

72 Main Street, Fairlie

Next door to Mint Boutique is a good old-fashioned country craft store, Polly’s Patchwork. In the heart of Fairlie, Polly’s has all you need for creating that craft project you’ve been thinking about but never quite got to. The little store stocks an impressive amount of fabrics, patterns, knitting gear, sewing kits and much more. With a vintage feel and friendly service, you might walk away feeling inspired to dig out that sewing machine or perhaps learn a new skill and find an unwoken passion for crafts.

Interior view of Polly's Patchwork, Fairlie.

77 Art + Living

77 Main Street, Fairlie

A newcomer to the South Canterbury gallery scene, 77 Art + Living is a welcome addition to the town of Fairlie. Run by art enthusiast Bella Miller, who initially set up the gallery to showcase her husband, Charlie Miller’s oil-on-canvas works, Bella aims to represent works in different mediums by local artists. Stepping into this gallery is much like stepping into a nicely curated store; it is unpretentious and welcoming with a friendly atmosphere. You might even be lucky enough to meet Bella’s stunning Dachshund puppy, who accompanies her to the gallery most days.

Artwork on display at 77 Art + Living.

The Little Red Fox Boutique

A fashion lover’s paradise, The Little Red Fox boutique in Fairlie stocks many leading New Zealand and Australian brands, such as Elwood, Superdry and Antler. There is something for both men and women in store, plus a small number of quality children’s clothing for the little humans in your family. Why not browse through the racks and try on an item that tickles your fancy? You might just come across your next special linen jumpsuit or summer dress, or perhaps a new felt hat or a pair of sunnies are in order.

Close up of handbags and tee at The Little Red Fox.

The Garage Gallery

785 Fairlie – Tekapo Road, Kimbell

Located in the heart of the beautiful Mackenzie country, The Garage Gallery appropriately concentrates on showcasing stunning landscape oil-on-canvas pieces. The artworks exhibited at this roadside gallery are made predominantly by resident artist Nathanael Provis, who creates timeless feature pieces inspired by the New Zealand landscape. A number of large, original investment pieces can be viewed and purchased too, and even if you are not on the market for a new centerpiece for your home, it’s well worth dropping in to admire the wonderful brush work on show at The Garage Gallery.

Exterior of The Garage Gallery, Kimbell.

dead2be

10 Church Street, Timaru

Perhaps the most exciting new addition to Timaru’s boutique scene, dead2be is a stunning petite store tucked in on Church Street at the former Empire Hotel, just off the town’s main drag. In store you’ll find individual homewares, artworks and designer pieces, plus a range of organic skincare products. dead2be is the result of a huge amount of research and discovery of curiosities you won’t come by elsewhere. Tightly organised and lovingly presented, the pieces available at this store are truly different and not what you’ll come across elsewhere.

Table of homewares and soaps at dead2be, Timaru.

Millie Rose

281 Stafford Street, Timaru

While Millie Rose is famous for its stunning and delicious cupcakes, there’s more to this store than getting your sugar fix. A mixture of a gift store, fashion outlet and patisserie, Millie Rose is not your usual shop encounter, but that’s exactly what makes it an interesting browse-through. An assortment of dresses and other clothing hangs on one side of the store, while on the other, gifts and homeware awaits. At the far end, you’ll find a cabinet filled with colourful wee cakes – simple as that.

Inside Millie Rose store.

York Street Gallery of Fine Art

21 York Street, Timaru

An eclectic collection of original artworks in various mediums are exhibited at York Street Gallery of Fine Art. Run by sculpture artist and art enthusiast Debbie Templeton-Page, this unique gallery is unlike any you will have previously visited. The gallery holds a selection of high quality artwork to view and purchase and Debbie is extremely knowledgeable about each piece that hangs on the walls. You might find yourself having cuppa and chatting about art, and perhaps before you know it, you will have chosen to take home that piece that first grabbed your attention.

Woman browsing inside York Street Gallery of Fine Art, Timaru.

Neat South Canterbury Places

The Oxford

A close up of the halloumi salad at The Oxford restaurant in Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru
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Ask a Timaru local where to eat in town and chances are they will point you in the direction of The Oxford.

Dark Sky Diner

Waitress serving a table at Dark Sky Diner, Tekapo.
Place South Canterbury Lake Tekapo
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Lakefront location, intimate interiors and compelling cuisine make Dark Sky Diner the ultimate Lake Tekapo dining destination.

The Yellow Door Café

The Yellow Door exterior in Timaru.
Place South Canterbury Timaru
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One of the latest additions to Timaru’s café scene, The Yellow Door at the high end of Stafford Street is hard to miss.

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

 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...