Oamaru is a relatively small town but there is a wide variety of main attractions both within the town centre or just a little further afield. An ideal sleep over city when you travel to New Zealand along the East Coast. A city to consider for those moving to New Zealand for retirement.
Visit one of the historical attractions at Harbor-Tyne and marvel at the splendid Victorian commercial buildings and warehouses in the typical white Oamaru stone. The other main attractions are the blue penguins colony near the harbor and the Oamaru Public Gardens.
If you are into fishing, you can venture a bit further to the Waitaki River to fish for salmon and trout.
Things to do in Oamaru
The North Otago countryside around Oamaru is beautiful and unspoilt and you can plan leisurely visits to such places as :
- Oamaru Blue Penguin colony & yellow eyed Penguins
You can view the Oamaru blue penguins in their natural habitat and watch them as they return at dusk to their nests. Depending on the time of the year, the numbers will vary from 30 to 180, and you can watch the penguins as they return from sea and waddle up the beach to their “homes”.
The yellow eyed penguins, one of the world’s rarest birds, can be seen as well along the same Oamaru coastline as they come ashore in the late afternoon.
This is an area in the centre of town near to the harbor that has Oamaru’s signature Victorian buildings. Walking through this area will give you a feeling of nostalgia as you will still see artisans who are practicing Victorian crafts. There are antique shops, sweet shop, cafes and also a well known bookbinder and restorer all combining to give this place a nice ambience.
This is a historic farm located to the south of Oamaru. This is where New Zealand’s billion dollar frozen meat industry first started during the 1850s. The building was bought over and restored by the New Zealand Historic places Trust/Pouhere Tanonga. The Trust created displays that illustrate the early history of Totara and the development of the frozen meat industry in New Zealand.
Oamaru Public Gardens was established in 1876, and some of the trees in the gardens are over 100 years old. It is definitely a place to visit for nature lovers as this garden is reputedly among the finest in New Zealand. You will be able to visit many gardens on your New Zealand vacation, as the land of the kiwis is renowned for its nature and gardens.
Moeraki Boulders at Koekohe Beach – Otago coast New Zealand
Located about 20 minutes south of Oamaru, you will be able to see some unique spherical boulders along the coast. These boulders are unique to the world and they can best viewed at low tide. Read more at Moeraki Boulders New Zealand.
As you can see, there are enough Oamaru attractions and things to do in Oamaru to spend 1 or 2 days in this peaceful historical town on the East Coast of New Zealand between Dunedin and Christchurch.