There are myriad reasons why you should not miss Oamaru and its environs. The town is surrounded by stunning scenery, amazing views and a number of sites of geological significance. Oamaru boasts some of the finest examples of 19th century architecture in New Zealand. The Victorian Precinct is home to many interesting shops, galleries, cafés, restaurants and a brewery. The Steampunk museum is a perfect fit for Oamaru as it celebrates steam powered technology often set in a futuristic 19th century England.
Oamaru’s Victorian Heritage Week takes place in November. Numerous events such as a Victorian Fete, penny farthing races, a 19th century street style market and parades attract increasing numbers of visitors from all over the country, many of whom don Victorian garb for the occasion.
Around the harbour are cafés, a Steampunk Playground and the Blue Penguin Colony. The colony has over 130 breeding pairs at peak season and an equal number in a special wildlife reserve nearby.
The acclaimed public gardens in Oamaru include a Victorian summerhouse, an oriental garden, rose gardens and a delightful Peter Pan garden. The Oamaru Public Gardens are the end destination of the increasingly popular Alps to Ocean cycle way which takes in much of the scenery for which the region is renowned.
Mention must also be made of the award winning restaurants, wineries and cheese producers in the Oamaru area, and the Farmers’ Market held every Sunday beside the Victorian Precinct where locally produced goods are showcased.
Harbour Street Jazz Festival - Friday 17 March –Sunday 19 March
The Original Gypsy Fair – Saturday 1 April
Fire and Steam - Friday 25 June
Steampunk Festival - Thursday 1 June – Monday 5 June
Victorian heritage Celebrations – Wednesday 15 November – Sunday 19 November
Victorian Fête – Sunday 19 November