Top things to do

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…
Top Choice Gastronomy 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 comes from the extensive on-site kitchen gardens (go for a stroll, they're imp…
Top Choice Seafood in Moeraki

Fleur’s Place

There's a rumble-tumble look about it, but this quirky tin-and-timber fishing hut houses one of the South Island's best – and most popular – seafood restaurants. Head for the upstairs deck and tuck into fresh shellf…
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.
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…
Deli in Oamaru

Whitestone Cheese Factory

The home of award-winning artisanal cheeses, Whitestone is a local culinary institution and the factory-door cafe is a fine place to challenge one's arteries. As well as fulfilling self-caterers' cheese dreams, the …
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…
Theatre in Oamaru

Oamaru Opera House

First opened in 1907 and now beautifully restored to its original glory, Oamaru's opera house hosts a variety of shows, including music, dance, theatre and comedy. The main auditorium seats 500-plus patrons under th…