10 Things to Do in Oamaru That You Shouldn't Miss

February 10, 2018 Trinity Boughner

Oamaru (/ɒməˈruː/ ( listen); Māori: Te Oha-a-Maru) is the largest town in North Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand, it is the main town in the Waitaki District. It is 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of Timaru and 120 kilometres (75 mi) north of Dunedin on the Pacific coast; State Highway 1 and the railway Main South Line connect it to both cities. With a population of 13,900, Oamaru is the 28th largest urban area in New Zealand, and the third largest in Otago behind Dunedin and Queenstown.
Restaurants in Oamaru

1. Oamaru Public Gardens

Chelmer Street, Oamaru, New Zealand
Excellent
72%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 161 reviews

Oamaru Public Gardens

Reviewed By stephanie_sandiego1 - Melbourne, Australia

Beautiful Gardens with plenty of paths to wander and birds to see. There is also an excellent playground for the little ones and a dog park tucked away behind the Gardens.

2. Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

1 Meek Street, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand +64 27 702 1213
Excellent
73%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 100 reviews

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is a 301km journey from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. This is New Zealand, in all its colour and beauty - from the highest mountain, past great lakes and rivers, down to the ocean. Suitable for all ages, the 9 section trail is an easy to intermediate grade, offering a pleasing mix of on and off-road trails. Allow 4-6 days for the entire ride, or simply try out a day excursion. Whichever option you choose, the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is sure to be a memorable experience. Amidst the grandeur of braided rivers, glacier-carved Valleys, turquoise hydro-lakes, tussock highlands and rural plains are a host of tantalising off-the-bike activities including wine-tasting, penguin-spotting, glider flights and just quietly soaking in alfresco hot tubs. It's no wonder people come from all over the world to enjoy its stunning vistas, wide open spaces and expansive landscapes. The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is an internationally recognised activity, a great way to experience the diversity of the South Island in less than a week. It's an achievable adventure for almost anyone - from grandchildren to grandparents. With over 150 Official Partner businesses offering trail services, accommodation, dining, activities and more you'll find everything you need to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Reviewed By skatecreekrd - Seattle, Washington

The Alps to Sea cycle ride is one of the great rides and very easy to plan. We did it in 6 segments staying in B&Bs along the way. I carried full panniers not knowing luggage transfer was available, my mistake. Six segments works best as we had 3 long days and 3 short days. In a couple towns There are few places to stay and a couple towns don't have any restaurants so plan and pack accordingly. We paid for packed lunches at a couple B&Bs and would not do that again. Too expensive and not very hearty. Instead pack a few OSM bars. The first 2 days from Lake Tekapo to Lake Ohau we faced very strong headwinds.

3. Oamaru's Victorian Precinct

2 Harbour Street, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand +64 3-434 5385
Excellent
57%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 567 reviews

Oamaru's Victorian Precinct

Reviewed By John W - Melbourne, Australia

This was an amazing block or so of buildings. Constructed out of Oamaru Limestone, the area is a glimpse in the history of Oamaru and it's heritage of the people that founded the town. Well worth a visit

4. Steampunk HQ

1 Itchen Street, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand +64 27 778 6547
Excellent
57%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 823 reviews

Steampunk HQ

Steampunk hq, which opened in november 2011, is an art collaboration proudly based in oamaru, new zealand. It sets out to portray an industrial version of steampunk, with a giant sense of humour and larger than life visions of an off the wall steampunk universe. Steampunk HQ is well known for its full scale train engine that spits fire and billows smoke The lonely planet guide rates steampunk hq as one of nz’s best new tourist attractions.

Reviewed By David P

Wife and I went on A busy Saturday. Absolutely live the building’s appearance, probably my favourite part of the experience. Surreal looking. The exhibits inside were so different they were very interesting. The interactive exhibits were brilliant, and The Portal was particularly cool. The outside exhibits were good but the building features and exhibits attached to it were amusing. Great visit, I said 4/5, wife says 5/5, so 5/5 it is.

5. Whitestone City

12 Harbour Street | Seaward Side, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand +64 508 978 663
Excellent
88%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 48 reviews

Whitestone City

Learn about our history by taking part in it. Take a tour of the visual tale of our town from the rough-sawn Whitestone beginnings to the polished and finely worked grandeur of our facades that still exist today. Partake of Victorian pastimes or boldly go beyond the curtains to encounter our colourful past. Leisurely repose oneself in the sumptuous surrounds of our parlour.

Reviewed By Felicity D

Great place! An interactive museum, meaning you can play Victorian bar games, go back to school, watch how Victorian ladies got dressed & ride on a penny farthing carousel.
The staff are enthusiastic it's clear a lot of local love has gone into the creation of this fantastic place. If you're coming to Oamaru, make sure you pay them a visit.

6. Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Village, Oamaru, New Zealand +64 3-439 4827
Excellent
43%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Moeraki Boulders

The mystical Moeraki Boulders captured at dawn.

Reviewed By WhereU2 - SW, UK

Amazing and intriging boulders on the beach. Chose your time to visit though as low tide is more spectacular. Can be too crowded for good photo opportunities though. Local cafe requests/suggests $2 dollar per person donation to access the boulders so if every visitor pays they must be taking a fortune.

7. Bushy Beach

Bushy Beach Rd, Oamaru, New Zealand
Excellent
44%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 145 reviews

Bushy Beach

Reviewed By bearcartlidge - Oamaru, New Zealand

Have been here quite a bit has live close to it. Penguins require patience to see and are about at dawn and dusk. Unfortunately due to height on cliff of viewing platforms average child or adult without binoculars does not get that good an experience.

8. The New Zealand Whisky Company

14-16 Harbour Street, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand +64 3-434 8842
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 80 reviews

The New Zealand Whisky Company

Come in and try our World Famous New Zealand Whisky. Relax with a dram and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Historic Precinct. We also have a wide range of locally made Craft Chocolate and Whisky Fudge to be enjoyed along with your Whisky. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Reviewed By Chinacol A - Shenzhen, China

Stopped by whilst wandering through the Victorian style shoppes - found this little corner style shop open and learnt a thing or two about the difference between NZ Distilled Whiskey and Scottish - a small tasting went down a treat on a cold afternoon - very smooth

9. Oamaru i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

1 Thames Street, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand +64 3-434 1656
Excellent
59%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 66 reviews

Oamaru i-SITE Visitor Information Centre

Reviewed By Seattle-Maddog - Newcastle, Australia

I-Site staff have been great throughout New Zealand but the staff in Oamaru were great not only with local advice but help to plan our adventures throughout the region.

Or Tyne St 9 7 Harbour Street | Historic Precinct, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand +64 27 366 6201
Excellent
60%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 50 reviews

Grainstore Gallery

Reviewed By Lorraine F

Fantastic little gallery, packed full of quirky and unusual pieces. It took us a long time to look around because there are so many little treasures hidden away in the big picture. The space is well used and compliments the art perfectly, it is really a must if you are in Oamaru. Just wish I could have shipped it all home with me it was all magical.

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