Discover the SEVEN WONDERS of Oamaru!
Little Blue Penguins * Yellow Eyed Penguins
Historic Precinct + Steam Punk HQ and the Oamaru Steam Train
Parkside Whitestone Quarry
The Penguin Entertainers Club
Whitestone Cheese Factory and Cafe is famous for it’s cheese cake, and have won many awards for their new styles of cheeses, there is a viewing gallery where you can see the process of cheese making at the Oamaru cheese factory, the cafe is open 7 days a week.
Portside Restaurant by the Penguin Colony is best enjoyed on a hot day in the sun on the decks, or on a stormy day from within with panaramic views of the waves crashing over the breakwater.
Oamaru restaurants and cafes are of the highest quality, Oamaru Region hosts top New Zealand Restaurants such as Fleurs Place in Moeraki, Riverstone Kitchen North of Oamaru near the airport, with a population of only 14,000 people the Oamaru town has many restaruants and cafes, making Oamaru one of the best places in New Zealand to dine out.
From Oamaru Look Out Point, walk through the pine forest, which is also a local off road cycle track.
From afternoon Yellow Eyed Penguins come ashore at Bushy Beach and clambour up the sea cliff – These penguins are quite rare and it is advised that you take your time at Bushy Beach to ensure that you see the Yellow Eyed Penguins sometimes as close as 1 meter from the walk way and viewing areas. My recommendation is to wrap up warm, indulge in some whitestone Windsor Blue cheese, a baguette from Ed the Dutch Baker in the Historic Precinct – sit tight and enjoy the afternoon.
At dusk you can view hundreds of penguins at the Little Blue Penguin Colony (there is a charge) or perhaps you might see some wondering about as the Little Blue Penguins also nest in the rocks on the pier and under the old buildings in the Historic Precinct
Maori Legend explains Moeraki Boulders as the remains of eel baskets and kumara washed ashore after the wreck of a large sailing canoe (Arai-te-uru), legend tells of the rocky shoals that extend seaward from Shag Point as being the petrified hull of this wreck and a nearby rocky promontory as being the body of the canoe’s captain.
The fishing village of Moeraki was a whaling station and is a Maori settlement area – at Look Out Point you can learn about the local history.
Seals and Yellow Eyed Penguins can be seen at Lighthouse Road. There is a small penguin hospital here at Katiki Point, the donation box contributes to the feeding of sick penguins.
Fleurs Place is a famous NZ restaurant, located down by the wharf, the restaurant appears to be no more than a tin shed from afar, it is magic inside, built from recycled timers, the fish is fresh and the produce local and top quality.
Oamaru has a rich history for a New country such as New Zealand, you can find out more at the local museum, next to the library.
The Forrester Art Gallery located near the Oamaru I-site, always an interesting exhibition, Oamaru is famous for Steampunk Art.
Visit the Janet Frame House 56 Eden Street, Janet Frame is a famous New Zealand author miss diagnosed with skitsafrenia she spent 8 years as a resident of the Seacliffe Asylum, after winning a literature award for her writing, Janet Frame was released and become and Internationally acclaimed author.
Oamaru Aquatic centre is bright, light, music plays, play area for toddlers, teenagers, adults and a hot spa.
Riverstone Kitchen is 2010 Top New Zealand restaurant, 10 minutes North of Oamaru, selection of specialty shops, playground for kids and grown ups, panoramic views to the alps, luscious green paddocks roamed by healthy happy cows, hens, roosters and peacocks.
Elephant Rocks 5 minutes from Duntroon, known for filming, one such film is The Chronicles of Narnia. A peaceful place, for photography, rock climbing, bouldering, picnic, healing, music and reading, 40 minute drive to and a 30 minute drive back to Oamaru.
From Elephant Rocks you are a 5 minute drive to Duntroon, Duntroon is a place with a primary school, pub, The Flying Pig cafe, an old Goal and a museum, check out the museum for more information about other natural wonders in the area.
If you have any interest in African Dance and Djembe drumming, then make your way to the old railway station where Ra teaches Drum and dance starts at 5.30pm.
Whitestone Parkside Quarry and gardens. Discover how Oamaru Whitestone is extracted from the Earth, past and the present. A similar limestone from Bath in England, The Oamaru Historic Precinct and many prominent buildings are built from Oamaru Whitestone, today Oamaru emulates British architecture and history.
Oamaru Whitestone is a soft stone, a favorite medium for sculptors, you will also see various sculpture scattered about the quarry, after the tour take a picnic and relax in the gardens, where you can wander about the sculptures. The Garden is used also as a Wedding and Function venue.
The Penguin Entertainers Club began in late 1990 Internal construction of The Penguin Entertainers Club began with borrowed and acquired materials, straightened nails and severely diluted paint fortified by an abundance of enthusiasm. The Penguin Entertainers Club soon became a stage for touring alternative bands and musicians that other local venues were not prepared to book. Check out www.thepenguinclub.co.nz for gigs, Friday night jam, everyone is welcome.
Nearby Waimate is the only place in New Zealand that is home to the Wallaby, the wallaby roam free in this region as a pest, they are not able to get through the rivers, so are contained in this region, it is illegal to have a wallaby as a pet out side of this region, however there is a lady in Waimate known as the Wallaby Lady and she looks after and breeds wallabies for International zoos and wildlife parks. You can visit the wallaby lady and feed the wallabies, there is also a wallaby enclosure in the victoria park where you can see wallabies for free.
It is possible to park your car at the base of the Waimate hill and walk up the the White Horse monument, the views are amazing, and the walk will only take about an hour to the top.
Explore the streets of the Oamaru’s Historic Precinct where on any given day you are likely to see people dressed in Eighteenth Century Victorian Costume, you’ll find European style loaves of bread from Ed at the Dutch Bakery, Meet Donna Damente at the Grainstore Fine Arts Gallery, watch Ian one of Oamaru’s sculptors creating with Oamaru Whitstone.
It is a place you can find some of Oamaru’s eccentric characters, like Michael O’Brien The Book Binder and witness the process of book binding.
Oamaru’s newest restaurant will be opening soon created by Fleur Sullivan owner of Fleurs Place in Moeraki, the Loan and Merc restaurant promises to be another great success.
During the weekend, the Oamaru steam train operates and takes passengers from the Historic Precinct to the Oamaru Harbour, Little Blue Penguin Colony and the Portside Restaurant. In the red shed which is the Forge you will find Bill Blair working with wood in old traditional ways, he also creates stage props for the film industry.
Stroll through the Oamaru Public Gardens