Oamaru Travel Guide

  • Our yellow eyed star!
    Our yellow eyed star!
    by BurgerQueen
  • Bushy Beach
    Bushy Beach
    by BurgerQueen
  • Couple of gulls discyssing on Bushy Beach
    Couple of gulls discyssing on Bushy...
    by BurgerQueen

Oamaru Things to Do

  • Yellow-Eyed Penguins

    Bushy beach is a quiet are along Oamaru coast, where you are likely to see yellow eyed penguins. Differently from the little blue penguins, yellow eyed are very shy, they don't like to see or hear humans. The beach is visible from high above, bringing a pair of binoculars and/or camera zooms is a very good idea! We were lucky enough to see one...

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  • Historic town

    If you have the time, go for a walk around the "Original Commercial area of Oamaru." This area is known as.... New Zealand's most complete Victorian Streetscape. with buildings dating from the 1870's to 1890's as they were in the past. Most of them are built out of the local limestone. This area is being restored, and although when we walked...

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  • Blue Penguin Colony

    A big blue penguin colony settled down in Oamaru, giving you a unique opportunity to observe these little lovely animals from very close. Penguins are used to come back from the seaside in the evening, and they come all at the same time, like little rockets flying out of the water! We attended an Evening Viewing at the Blue Penguin Colony camp, and...

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  • Moeraki Boulders

    The coast and specially the boulders make a very nice day trip (or if you are on the way from/to Dundin a great stopping place) out of Oamaru (SH1, 30 km south of Oamaru). The little fishing village of Moeraki got famous due to the spherical boulders along the coast. 3 km out of the village (just follow the signs) is a campsite and parking spot...

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  • SEAFARER'S MEMORIAL LOOKOUT

    A memorial to all seafarers who sailed from the Port of Oamaru and lost their lives at sea is the lookout. From here, you get fantastic views of Oamaru and the bay, it is well worth coming to, a must see here!

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  • Gently visit the yellow eyed penguins...

    Bushy beach is a quiet are along Oamaru coast, where you are likely to see yellow eyed penguins. Differently from the little blue penguins, yellow eyed are very shy, they don't like to see or hear humans. The beach is visible from high above, bringing a pair of binoculars and/or camera zooms is a very good idea!We were lucky enough to see one...

    more
  • Visit the Blue Penguin Colony

    A big blue penguin colony settled down in Oamaru, giving you a unique opportunity to observe these little lovely animals from very close. Penguins are used to come back from the seaside in the evening, and they come all at the same time, like little rockets flying out of the water! We attended an Evening Viewing at the Blue Penguin Colony camp, and...

    more
  • CRITERION HOTEL

    Another beautiful building to feast your eyes on, is the Criterion Hotel, which was built in 1877.Operating as a licensed hotel until prohibition came to Oamaru in 1905, it was still used as a private hotel until 1943 when it was bought and used for storage of light engineering foundry equipment.Since 1989, exterior and interior has been restored,...

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  • THE HISTORIC HARBOUR & TYNE DISTRICT

    If you have the time, go for a walk around the "Original Commercial area of Oamaru." This area is known as.... New Zealand's most complete Victorian Streetscape.with buildings dating from the 1870's to 1890's as they were in the past. Most of them are built out of the local limestone.This area is being restored, and although when we walked through...

    more
  • SEAFARER'S MEMORIAL LOOKOUT

    A memorial to all seafarers who sailed from the Port of Oamaru and lost their lives at sea is the lookout. From here, you get fantastic views of Oamaru and the bay, it is well worth coming to, a must see here!

    more
  • SAINT PATRICK'S BASILICA

    This magnificent Catholic church is constructed of Oamaru stone and was built in various stages, the first in 1893 and the last in 1918. The Basilica follows the pattern of the large, roofed buildings used by the Romans for public purposes. The foundation stone was laid on Trinity Sunday, 1893, by Bishop Moran, and the Basilica was opened on 18th...

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  • WAITAKI BOYS HIGH SCHOOL

    This is another impressive building, but located in Waitaki Avenue.Waitaki Boys' High School, founded in 1883, is a secondary school for boys, and also a boarding school.The school is notable for its historic buildings such as the Hall of Memories, an assembly hall, built to honour the men who died in the first world war.

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  • NATIONAL BANK & FORRESTER GALLERY

    Also in the main street (Thames street) are these two buildings, located side by side. Originally built for the Bank of Otago in 1871, this impressive building became the National Bank in 1875.The Forrester Gallery is located in the neo-classical building originally constructed in 1884 for the Bank of New South Wales. The site was opened as a...

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  • FORMER POST OFFICE

    This town has lots of lovely old buildings, so go for a walk around the town, and enjoy viewing these buildings, most of them are in the main street. The former Post Office, is now the home of the Waitaki District Council. Made out of limestone, it was designed with out the Clock tower in 1883. It was The addition of the 28 metre high tower was in...

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  • Moeraki Boulders

    The coast and specially the boulders make a very nice day trip (or if you are on the way from/to Dundin a great stopping place) out of Oamaru (SH1, 30 km south of Oamaru).The little fishing village of Moeraki got famous due to the spherical boulders along the coast. 3 km out of the village (just follow the signs) is a campsite and parking spot with...

    more
  • Yellow-Eyed Penguins

    On the Bushy Beach Road (Ask in visitor centre for map or directions) is a nesting site for Yellow-Eyed Penguins. Go to the watch towers at dusk any see them coming back to feed their chicks. They are not as numerous as the Blue Penguins in the harbour but much cuter and therefore worth the wait.

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  • Penguin Night- Be captivated by Nature

    Visit Oamaru for a Penguin evening in the Blue Penguin Colony. Those penguins nest in town close to the harbour. There is a little Blue Penguin Reserve/Visitor Centre. You pay about 8$ entrance. Go there at dusk (or about 30 minutes before for commentaries) and watch how the penguins get back home from a day out at sea to feed their youngsters. Its...

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  • Vintage train

    Train runs from Harbourside Station at the Historic Precinct to Quarry Siding at the "Red Sheds".Train runs most Sundays and most Public Holidays.

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  • More than Penguins: Oamaru - a White...

    Oamaru, located half-way between Timaru and Dunedin on the Otago coast, is rather well-known for its colony of Little Blue Penguins. It is less known for its sheer beauty. A beauty made of the white stone it has given its name to. Auckland's Town Hall, Post Office and St. Matthews Church, Christchurch's Catholic Cathedral, Wellington's Customhouse...

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  • Visit the Moeraki Boulders

    If you are traveling between Oamaru and Dunedin, the Moeraki Boulders command at least a short visit. The boulders lie just off SH1 forty-kilometers south of Oamaru, and the signs along SH1 make them impossible to miss. There are definitely more interesting things to see in New Zealand, but the boulders are rather unique in the world and worth the...

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  • Explore the Historic District

    Oamaru is not very big, and it is easy to stroll through the town’s historic district in a half-day or so. A town map can be obtained at the visitor information center. Armed with that, it’s easy enough to amble around town, checking out the well-preserved digs. While in town, also be sure to visit the Whitestone Cheese Company, where you can...

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  • Visit the Penguin Colonies

    Oamaru’s main draw these days is its penguins. Within walking distance of the town center are colonies of world’s smallest and rarest penguins – Little (or Blue) and Yellow-eyed Penguins, respectively. Timing a visit to both colonies is easy. The Yellow-eyed Penguins, whose colony is further out from town, come ashore late in the afternoon, while...

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  • Blue Penguin Colony

    The visitors centre to the colony is 5 minutes from town. The colony is a conservation area, so you'll have to pay a fee to get in. Before the penguins come to shore, you'll get some information. It's really fun seeing the penguins come to shore. It's smart to make a reservation, because it can be busy.

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  • Yellow Eyed Penguins

    The penguins have become a major attraction in Oamaru over the past few years. These yellow eyed penguins are a bit larger than the little blue penguins, and are able to be seen during daylight hours. This means they can also be photographed - no flash is required. Do take care to keep voices and noise down when they are nearby to avoid causing...

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  • White Stone

    Oamaru is also noted for its many fine buildings in white stone, which was quarried locally, like these on Thames Street

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  • Moeraki Boulders

    The Moeraki Boulders are situated some 40kms south of Oamaru. They are large, almost spherical boulders of volcanic origin, set on a nice sandy beach.

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  • Blue Penquins

    Most nights the blue penquins from Oamaru return home to their burrows. For a small charge there is a hide where you can watch the action at dusk.Unfortunately when we were there there was a heavy sea mist and most of the birds did not come back that night. We only saw about three!

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  • Blue Penguin

    The smallest penguin Blue penguins are the smallest of the world's 17 species of penguin. Standing just 25cm high and weighing 1kg, they can be found around the coast of NZ and in Southern Australia. Unusual habitsThe blue penguin has some habits which make it hard to view - they come ashore after dark and live underground in burrows. Stay at...

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  • I Brake for Penguins....

    Well, you don't see these traffic signs just anywhere.... but best to heed the warning, I dont know what the fine is for squashing a pengie, but I bet it is considerable...

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  • ... and Heading for Home...

    ... and then watch as they waddle off single file to their nests in the rocks... Quite the Spectacle...

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Oamaru Hotels

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Oamaru Off The Beaten Path

  • PATTERSON'S COTTAGE @ WAIMATE

    Waimate is located approx halfway between Timaru and Oamaru. You can turn off route 1 onto route 82 that takes you to Waimate, then come back onto route 1 again, it is not far.....Look for the signpost near Willowbridge. It can be an alternative route between the two Towns.Paterson's Cottage........This cob cottage is believed to have been built...

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  • SHAG POINT

    After walking and viewing the Moeraki Boulders, we headed on towards Dunedin, stopping off at Shag Point, which is only another 11kms down the road. This point has lookouts and good views of the Ocean and we saw many Seals that were basking on the rocksThe Yellow eyed penguin and NZ fur seal is found here, we only saw the fur Seals, as dawn and...

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  • AUSTRALIAN WALLABIES IN WAIMATE

    As we are from Australia, we were very surprised to hear about the population of Bennett's / Red Necked wallabies living around Waimate. They were introduced from Australia and now live in the in the countryside surrounding the town with some being farmed. Their introduction to New Zealand came about in 1870, when a Captain Thomson brought several...

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Oamaru Favorites

  • A Town's Story Comes Alive!

    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...

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  • Go up to the lookout...

    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. 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...

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  • Visit the Criterion Hotel

    Criterion Hotel,3 Tyne Street,OAMARU.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,...

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Explore Deeper into Oamaru
Oamaru to Dunedin by road
Off The Beaten Path
St. Augustine's Church @ Waimate
Off The Beaten Path
THE WHITE HORSE
Off The Beaten Path
Oamaru radio station
Off The Beaten Path
Moeraki Boulders
Off The Beaten Path
Gathering up...
Things to Do
Baby Yellows... (Browns ??)
Things to Do
Endangered Species....
Things to Do
The Loner
Things to Do
Hit the Beach !!!
Things to Do
Yellow-eyed Penguin Nest
Things to Do
See the famous Omaru Stone
Things to Do
Spot the penguin
Things to Do
Moeraki Boulders
Off The Beaten Path
Blue Penguins
Favorites
Downtown Oamaru
Things to Do
Map of Oamaru

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