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Town 36 km north of Timaru. Once on the main road between Christchurch and Timaru, Geraldine is now bypassed by State Highway 1, but is on a shortcut for people travelling from Christchurch to Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Lakes. This has encouraged town and tourist businesses. The town’s European history began with the founding of the Raukapuka sheep run in 1853. The Talbot forest was milled in the 1860s and 1870s, but a small remnant has been reserved on the edge of the town. Unlike many country towns, Geraldine has grown since the 1950s, partly because it is popular as a retirement centre.

Meaning of place name
Many names were proposed for the settlement - Godley, Killigar, Leinster, FitzGerald, and Talbot, and for some time it was known as Talbot Forest. On 9 May 1857 the name FitzGerald was adopted in honour of the first superintendent of the Canterbury Provincial Council, James Edward FitzGerald. It was later changed to Geraldine, the clan name of the FitzGeralds.