10 Top Attractions in Oamaru and the Waitaki District
Published: 01/28/2012 by James Glucksman
1. Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony--home to the largest colony of the world's smallest penguins in New Zealand.
2. Oamaru's Victorian Historic Precinct--the best-preserved historic centre of any town in New Zealand, with stunning architecture and artists' galleries, craftspeople working in Victorian-era workshops, and great dining. While there are numerous people who dress in Victorian costume on a daily basis, several times a year the whole town turns back the clock so you can relive NZ's colonial past.
3. Moeraki Boulders and the nearby Yellow-Eyed Penguin colony--the Moeraki Boulders are 600 million year old spherical accretions that line the beach north of Moeraki, making for some stunning photographs. Combine a visit to the boulders with a walk out to the Katiki Lighthouse for unparalleled viewing of the world's rarest penguins, along with NZ fur seals and countless shags.
4. Danseys Pass--this beautiful drive through the highlands of North Otago offer incredible views over unspoiled landscapes and can be combined with a visit to the Macraes Gold Fields, the largest operating gold mine in New Zealand, and to several of Otago's old goldmining towns.
5. Waitaki Valley drive--drive along the braided Waitaki River for beautiful scenery of the river and its several lakes, and stop for a taste of the wines of the Waitaki District, the newest wine appellation in New Zealand, producing some world-renowned Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling.
6. Omarama and the Clay Cliffs--further up the Waitaki River Valley you reach Omarama, home to the beautiful Clay Cliffs, where you can enjoy a hike along the Ahuriri River and the sight of countless lupines blooming during the season. And if you are up for some adventure, you can go for a glider flight in one of the world's leading gliding centres.
7. Gourmet dining--Oamaru and the surrounding region has become renowned for its gourmet restaurants and food producers. Come visit NZ's most awarded cheese maker at Whitestone Cheese in Oamaru, where you can watch them make the cheeses and sample them, including their famous Windsor Blue and the only-in-Oamaru Lindis Pass brie de meaux. Afterwards you can dine at Riverstone Kitchen or Fleur's Place, two of the top restaurants in all of New Zealand.
8. Steampunk art--Oamaru is the undisputed capital of Steampunk in NZ, with a permanent collection of Steampunk exhibits lining the street, and Steampunk HQ with some amazing works by local and international artists. And several times a year there are Steampunk festivals that attract afficionados of this art genre from around the world. Don't know what Steampunk is? Come and learn all about it here!
9. The Vanished World Trail--the North Otago area is dotted with unusual geological formations that are unlike anything you'd see anywhere else. Most famous of these (in addition to the Moeraki Boulders) are the Elephant Rocks and "Earthquakes", which featured in the Narnia films.
10. Relax--there are beautiful parks, gardens, golf courses, and bike trails in the Oamaru area, and there are spas, hot tubs and massage theraposts to help you soak away the cares of the world. And of course, you can just sit back and enjoy the view from wherever you stay during your stay!
Click here for Slideshow. You can also click on any of the photos to start slideshow.
Beautiful country sites!
Yuri from Auckland - 29 January 2012 - 09:46 pm
Beautiful country sites!
Food, Wine, Nature and People.
Loved every moment of being there.