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South Canterbury Anniversary Day

Upcoming Dates of South Canterbury Anniversary Day

2022: Monday 26th September    

2023: Monday 25th September   

2024: Monday 23rd September  

South Canterbury Landscape

The Province of South Canterbury

South Canterbury is part of the greater Canterbury region, along the eastern side of the central South Island. South Canterbury, however, celebrates its own Anniversary day, separate from the northern and eastern districts of Canterbury.

The South Canterbury region is south of the Rangitata River, taking in the Timaru, Waimate, and McKenzie districts.

Timaru, the main town in South Canterbury, serves as the hub of action on this day. However, many people also travel to the countryside to admire the natural beauty of the area, walk, mountain bike, or play golf.

The Anniversary Date

South Canterbury Anniversary Day is a public holiday on the fourth Monday of September.

This falls on Dominion Day, the anniversary of the formal founding of the Dominion of New Zealand in 1907. South Canterbury Anniversary Day simply serves as an approximation of the actual date, which was September 26.

In order to provide a three-day South Canterbury Anniversary Weekend, it is always scheduled on a Monday.

Remembrance of the Late Queen Elizabeth II

Following the passing of the Queen in September 2022, New Zealand, like other commonwealth countries, chose to put in place a ‘one off’ public holiday, to give New Zealanders a day to remember Her Majesty and mourn.

The date was agreed to be 26th September 2022 – the same date as the South Canterbury Anniversary Day.

Due to a conflict with Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day, the district councils of the region decided to move the region’s anniversary day, ensuring that South Cantabrians would not be without an additional public holiday this year.

The Timaru, Waimate, and Mackenzie district councils approved a one-time date change to fall on November 11 in honour of Canterbury Anniversary Day.

Where to Visit in South Canterbury on Anniversary Day


The Aigantighe Art Gallery in Timaru has a sizable permanent collection of works by New Zealand and other artists. The gallery has a permanent collection plus featured exhibitions.

You can also stroll around the sculpture garden.

To learn more about the culture of the district, visiting the South Canterbury Museum is also a prime venue to take the whole family.

There is always plenty to view as they frequently have new exhibitions and some long-term collections that are unique.


Geraldine is a charming rural community situated next to the meandering Waihi River and surrounded by exotic trees.

The town has an assortment of boutique stores and a number of welcoming cafés to choose from before strolling through the centre of the small but charming town on the historic trail.

The friendly community of Geraldine, located in a thriving farming region, is well renowned for having a large population of artists and craftspeople.

The area is home to several well-known New Zealand painters, so there are galleries and studios to suit every taste of art.

Related guide: Fun Things to Do in Timaru with Kids