Top things to do

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…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Oamaru

Riverstone Kitchen

A riverstone fireplace and polished concrete floors set the scene for a menu that's modern without being overworked. Much of the produce is from the extensive on-site kitchen gardens (take a look, they're impressive…
Top Choice Live Music in Oamaru

Penguin Club

Tucked down an atmospheric alley off a 19th-century street, the Penguin’s unusual location matches its acts: everything from touring Kiwi bands to punky/grungy/rocky/country locals.
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…
Japanese in Oamaru


Midori, housed in a heritage stone building, serves sashimi and sushi that makes the most of fresh local seafood. Other carefully prepared dishes include teriyaki salmon and blue cod, udon soup and a variety of bent…
Deli in Oamaru

Whitestone Cheese Factory

The home of award-winning artisan cheeses, Whitestone is a local culinary institution and the little factory-door cafe is a fine place to challenge one's arteries. Food is limited to the likes of cheese scones, chee…
Cafe in Oamaru

Tees St Cafe

An ornate Victorian draper's shop provides a suitably gracious ambience for this lovely little cafe. Aside from cooked breakfasts, soup and some light lunches, most of the culinary focus is on the counter food, espe…
Cafe in Oamaru


Steam specialises in coffees and fruit juices, and it's a good spot to stock up on freshly ground beans for your own travels. Aside from crêpes, the food is mainly limited to what you see on the counter: freshly bak…
Modern NZ in Oamaru


Surprisingly upmarket for a restaurant attached to an SH1 motel, Northstar is the first choice for Oamaruvians with something to celebrate. Expect robust bistro fare with a touch of contemporary flair. The bar is po…