Geraldine was founded in 1854 and one of the first residents was Samuel Hewlings, a surveyor. Hewlings married a maori woman called Nga Hei and their danghter was the first part European child born in the district. To mark the occasion Hewlings planted a totara tree in Talbot Street (opposite the police station) which still flourishes.
The first settlers raised sheep but before long pit-sawyers came searching for supplies of good building timber and the large Raukapuka Forest was felled. The land was cultivated and produced good crops of wheat which were exported as well as supplying the countries own needs. Dairying was also an early form of farming in the cleared bush land and a small cheese factory was built in 1884.
The area where Geraldine is now was originally part of the area known as Talbot Forest. It was renamed FitzGerald in 1857 after the first superintendent of Canterbury, an Irishman, Edward FitzGerald. He changed the name after only 10 days to Geraldine which had Irish connections with his family. Hence the names we have given our guest rooms at our B&B lodge.
The village of Geraldine is set on the banks of the Waihi River and is some 90 metres above sea level. The region enjoys a moderate climate with an average rainfall of 630 mm (approx 25 inches) and an impressive total of annual sunshine hours. There is a degree of freedom from the winds which sometimes buffet the plains and lower temperatures nearer the coast.
golf - 2 local courses
fishing and hunting safaris
rafting in Rangitata Gorge
4wd tours to Lord of the Rings film set and places of interest
established potters and sculptors
patchwork and fabric art
replica of the Bayeux Tapestry
worlds largest jersey
Indulge your taste buds:
cafes and wine bars with local wine
sample fine local cheeses
local fruit products to sample
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