Attractions

Top Choice Bird Sanctuary in Oamaru

Blue Penguin Colony

Every evening the little tykes from the Oamaru little-penguin colony surf in and wade ashore, heading to their nests in an old stone quarry near the waterfront. Stands are set up on either side of the waddle route. …
Top Choice Area in Oamaru

Victorian Precinct

Consisting of only a couple of blocks centred on Harbour and Tyne Sts, this atmospheric enclave has some of NZ’s best-preserved Victorian commercial buildings. Descend on a dark and foggy night and it's downright Di…
Gallery in Oamaru

Steampunk HQ

Discover an alternative past – or maybe a quirky version of the future – in this fascinating art project celebrating steampunk culture. Ancient machines wheeze and splutter, and the industrial detritus of the last c…
Gallery in Oamaru

Forrester Gallery

Housed in a temple-like former bank building, the Forrester Gallery has an excellent collection of regional and NZ art. It's a good place to see works by Colin McCahon, one of NZ's most significant modern artists.
Gardens in Oamaru

Oamaru Public Gardens

Opened in 1876, these beautiful gardens are a lovely place to chill out on a hot day, with expansive lawns, waterways, bridges and a children’s playground.
Museum in Oamaru

North Otago Museum

Behind its classical facade, the North Otago Museum has exhibits on Māori and Pākehā history, local writer Janet Frame, architecture and geology.
Area in Oamaru

Thames St

Oamaru’s main drag owes its expansive girth to the need to accommodate the minimum turning circle of a bullock cart. Oamaru's grand pretensions reached their peak in a series of gorgeous buildings constructed from t…
Bird Sanctuary in Oamaru

Yellow-Eyed Penguin Colony

Larger and much rarer than their little blue cousins, yellow-eyed penguins waddle ashore at Bushy Beach in the late afternoon to feed their young. In order to protect these endangered birds, the beach is closed to p…
Church in Oamaru

St Patrick's Basilica

If you've ever fantasised about being transported back to Ancient Rome, stroll through the Corinthian columns and into this gorgeous Catholic church (built in 1873). Renowned architect Francis Petre went for the ful…
Park in Oamaru

Friendly Bay Playground

Steampunk for kiddies: this unusual playground includes swings suspended from a giant penny farthing, a slippery pole accessed from an armoured elephant, and a giant hamster wheel.