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Oamaru is a town in North Otago, New Zealand, with beautiful Victorian buildings crafted from the fine, white local limestone.

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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Oamaru

  • Harbour & Tyne Historic Precinct, also known as the Victorian Precinct. The town's original commercial area, largely built in the 1870s to 1890s. It is the most complete Victorian streetscape in the country. The buildings were constructed of a hard, compact limestone that was quarried locally and known as Oamaru stone.
  • Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. See Little Blue Penguins (Kororā in Māori) in their nests or coming ashore at night.
  • Yellow-eyed Penguin (Hoiho in Māori)
  • Whitestone Cheese Factory
  • Steampunk Art
  • Waitaki Valley
  • Waitaki vineyards
  • Moeraki Boulders
  • Totara Plantation Historic Site

North Otago Museum

Moeraki Boulders

Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

Bushy Beach

Moeraki Lighthouse

Oamaru Gardens

Janet Frame House

Shag Point Scenic Reserve

Totara Estate

Macraes Gold Mine

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Popular events in Oamaru in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
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About Oamaru


Oamaru does two things better than anywhere else in New Zealand – beautiful Victorian architecture and little blue penguin viewing. A strange mix in a strange, interesting town.

Oamaru started its existence in the mid-1800s as one of a few large sheep farms in North Otago. The natural harbour was recognised and a breakwater built to facilitate trade. Buildings sprung up – banks, grain stores, post offices and a court house built from limestone (referred to by New Zealanders as Oamaru Stone because it is sourced locally and used all over the country). Oamaru fell on hard times and lacked resources to pull down the older buildings while other towns were replacing older buildings with new ones. As a result Oamaru has a fantastic collection of older buildings in an unspoilt precinct by the harbour. Better times have returned in recent times with the district becoming wealthy through the meat, dairy and education industries and this has allowed the locals to restore and strengthen the old buildings.

Today it is a little known tourism secret where prices tend to be reasonable for accommodation (of which there is a glut) and there are some exceptional restaurants which you would not generally expect in a town this size.

Today, visitors to Oamaru come to experience the nightly return to land of the little blue penguins. The town has several colonies of these birds, the smallest and only blue variety of penguin in the world. The largest colony is now run as a commercial activity by the town council, offering an opportunity to view the penguins in their natural habitat. There is also a small colony of yellow-eyed penguins, one of the world's rarest, just outside the town centre.

Oamaru is the gateway to the Waitaki Valley, a stunning natural area bisected by the braided Waitaki River, whose dams have created numerous lakes for water sports and recreation. The Waitaki Valley is home to New Zealand's newest wine appellation, where a number of vineyards are producing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and other varietals that are winning international awards.


  • Take a scenic flight


  • Riverstone Kitchen, 1431 State Highway 1, RD 5H (12km north of Oamaru), .
  • Fleurs Place, Moeraki.
  • Loan and Merc (temporarily closed).
  • Portside.


  • Fat Sally's Pub and Restaurant.
  • North Star Restaurant and Bar.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Oamaru on Wikivoyage.