Oamaru is situated in North Otago in the South Island of New Zealand. It sits 120 km north of Dunedin on Highway 1 and in my opinion is the most interesting town between Invercargill and Christchurch on the east coast.
4 suggestions of things to do in Oamaru
- Victorian Precinct: This small area near the harbour makes you feel like you have gone back in time. You can peruse bookshops, art galleries, antique and vintage clothing shops. Shopkeepers are generally chatty and are delighted to answer questions about the area. Oamaru’s farmers market on a Sunday morning also takes place in this area and makes for a delightful place to have your breakfast or lunch.
- Steampunk HQ ($10): Self advertised as a ‘retro-futuristic sci fi art gallery’ (bit of a mouthful I know!) This gallery can be found near the waterfront in a three storey sandstone building. After a quick google I learnt that Steampunk is a sub genre of science fiction that focuses on design and technology influenced by 19th century steam-powered machinery. It’s quite a strange place but is worth a look around. In fact the whole Victorian Precinct seems to take on this ‘Steampunk’ vibe. Be sure to check out ‘The Portal’ which is a cool little exhibition inside of Steampunk HQ using mirrors.
- Blue Penguin Colony ($30-45): This is one of the main reasons why many visit Oamaru. Viewing sessions take place in the evening and you will be sat in a small grandstand allowing you to watch the penguin colony return from a day of fishing. It is however quite expensive with the cheapest seats starting at $30 for adults and you are not allowed to use your camera during the viewing
- Scotts Brewing Co: Open 7 days a week, from 10am, the brewery offers a range of experiences including tasting and tours, takeaway beers and pizzas. This can also be found next to the Victorian precinct.
Oamaru, although a small town, has bags of character and if you are in Otago then it is well worth a visit.