The Sound Shell at Caroline Bay, Timaru 


The Bay is the jewel in Timaru's crown.


Roll up, roll up! Try your luck on the chocolate wheel or take in a free concert.


The Sound Shell 1950s. The carnival's success largely depended on the weather.


A Caroline Bay Cardinal Concert over the New Year Period. Goodall postcard. Not W.T. 197.
There are only two Soundshells in the South Island. The other is at Riverton.


Another Goodall postcard. In February 2006 a cover was added over the stage area.

1998 Dec.
During the 16-day Christmas and New Year period, a number of country, rock, and easy listening groups will perform on the Soundshell. The line-up includes a kids day, teenage show and a variety day. Among the highlights were Christchurch rock group Ready Steady Go, the Fabulous Five, the Elvis Show and the Beatles Show. Another highlight of the 88th carnival would be the arrival of a new children's inflatable toy from England. All other rides had been painted and revamped for this year's carnival.

1999 Sep 8.  The Press: The clock on Timaru's Soundshell was right at least twice a day, Cr McGregor Simpson has told the Timaru District Council Community. His dry wit followed a complaint by Cr. Olwen Norton about the clock. It, she had been told, had not moved its hands for two years. She did not rely on it for time, but visitors might. It was at this point that Cr ...

1999. The last Caroline Bay Carnival of the millennium began yesterday with crowds equalling last year's very successful opening day. This year is the 89th carnival it would be the biggest yet. The major highlight of the 15-day event is the Year 2000 party on the Bay Hill on December 31. The concert continues through the evening until midnight and features South country music band, Marion Burns, a popular fiddler player, and some Christchurch bands like the Blues Brothers and Umu and Steve Osborne, One Night Stand. A local radio station will be taking responsibility for the countdown. There will be a bonfire on the beach, a DJ, and fireworks at midnight. From midnight to about 2am there will be a disco at the soundshell. As well as fireworks, all the church bells in the district will ring out at midnight.

2000 January 11
The case has again been made for roofing the Soundshell on Caroline Bay. Not surprisingly, it has come after another Bay Carnival hit by bad weather, which forced concerts indoors and cut attendances. Councillors will be gun-shy after the controversy over the $1.3 million piazza. Roofing the Soundshell will widen its ability to be used for concerts.

2000. Caroline Bay Association (CBA). Since its inception, the CBA has poured today's equivalent of $10 million into development on the bay. Almost everything on the bay has been financed by the association.

2006: The Timaru District Council agrees on a 7-6 vote to pay the $38,227 owing on the roof over the Bay Soundshell. The council put nearly $90,000 towards the $132,000 project.

New Year's Eve, 2008. Phatom of the Opera songs. Photo taken by Margaret Todd.

2008: The 98th Caroline Bay Carnival opened Dec. 26th 2008 with 3000 visitors,150 volunteers and ran for seventeen days. The usual contests e.g. Tiny Tots, the Queen of the Carnival and Miss Caroline Bay, Princess of the Sands, talent quests, pet competition and the sand modelling were held. The carnival ran until January 11 with different entertainment, food stalls, games and events each day e.g. daily concert, mini golf, bungy trampoline, mini-rig truck and train rides, fireworks display on New Year's Eve, fairground rides e.g. ferries wheel. The entertainers change every year. In 2011 this carnival will celebrate its 100th.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

 It was important to preserve historic points of interest in the town.