Waitaki District attractions

Top Choice Bird Sanctuary in Oamaru

Blue Penguin Colony

Every evening the 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. General…
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…
Area in Oamaru

Thames Street

Oamaru’s main drag owes its expansive girth to the need to accommodate the minimum turning circle of a bullock cart. The town's grand pretensions reached their peak in the late 19th century in a series of gorgeous b…
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…
Gallery in Oamaru

Steampunk HQ

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

Maerewhenua Māori Rock Painting Site

Sheltered by an impressive limestone overhang, this site contains charcoal-and-ochre paintings dating to before the arrival of Europeans in NZ. Head east from Duntroon and take the first right after crossing the Mae…
Gallery in Oamaru

Forrester Gallery

Housed in a temple-like former bank building, the Forrester Gallery stages excellent temporary exhibitions of local and NZ art. The 'wonderlab', upstairs, hosts interactive exhibitions especially designed for childr…
Archaeological Site in Waitaki Valley

Takiroa Māori Rock Painting Site

Hidden within the honeycomb cliffs lining the highway, this well-signposted site, 3km west of Duntroon, features centuries-old drawings of mystical creatures, animals and even a sailing ship.
Gardens in Oamaru

Oamaru Public Gardens

Opened in 1876, these beautiful gardens are a lovely place to stroll and relax, with expansive lawns, waterways, bridges and a children’s playground.