Visit the Criterion Hotel
Favorite thing: Criterion Hotel,
3 Tyne Street,
This old hotel was built in 1877 among the business section of this town. Constructed in the lovely white limestone of the area, and with a few luxuries it was more popular than the opposition and because quite well known. The hotel battled anti alcohol protestors and in 1906 the sale of alcohol was illegalised, forcing the hotel to change it's life. After several uses, the building was registered in the Historic Places Trust register in 1987.
Fondest memory: With the hotel being renovated and returned to it's original purpose, that of selling alcohol, you can again buy a pint of ale here, while you stand on the sawdusted floor and take in the history of the town.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
Go up to the lookout...
Favorite thing: It's worth taking the bus up to the lookout, especially if the weather is nice. You can see all up the coast, and over the town.
Go to the Information Office to find out about when the bus runs and where to catch it.
Fondest memory: Up at the lookout there is a large couch/sofa made from dirt and grass, and it's fun for a group to sit there together smelling the lovely sea air and taking in the view.
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: THE BLUE PENGUIN COLONY NEAR OAMARU.
The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony provides you with the perfect opportunity to watch blue penguins as they return from a busy day at sea. You will see them arrive on the beach, climb the steep rocks and make their way inland to their burrow. All this, 5 minutes from the town centre by car. Oamaru is the easiest place in N Z for people to see good numbers of blue penguins close and view them. The local penguin population is approximately 3,000 birds. They nest throughout the harbour area and coastline. Since natural nesting is a burrow or any hole, blue penguins use nest boxes provided by the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, which is well lit for easy viewing. These wee birds are so cute and loved being watched but they bite fiercely!!!!
The blue penguins (EUDYPTULA MINOR) which come ashore at dusk are the world's smallest Penguin at approximately 30cm tall with an average life span of 8 years. The plumage is indigo blue above and satin white below. The bill is dark and the eyes pale grey, the feet are webbed. These penguins become sexually active at 2 years and usually always mate for life though 'divorce' is not uncommon.
From the town centre there are sign post all the way to the Blue Penguin Colony so no one could possibly become lost, (not even me who has no sense of direction!) It is 5 minutes by car out of the south end of the town.
A Town's Story Comes Alive!
Favorite thing: Check ou the live show in Oamaru's stunning old Victorian quarter. It brings alive the buildings by telling the true story of The Great Storm of 1868. Just 3 actors take on multiple characters to tell the story in an old grain store of a young town; a storm, a shipwreck on the beach, and a love torn apart. It is an amazing setting which draws you in and has you believing you’re in a chemist’s shop one minute and on board a sailing ship the next. Aimed at bringing the buildings alive, the Storm does just that!
- Historical Travel
- Theater Travel
- Arts and Culture