Local Attractions

Oamaru Attractions

Oamaru is one of the South Island’s coolest little towns.

With its Victorian heritage buildings, this has inspired the locals to create some entertaining attractions that you’ll not want to miss.

What’s more, Oamaru is also an attraction for wildlife, so if you’re dying to see penguins, in particular, this is your place! Keep reading to view our top attractions.

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Moeraki Boulders

The Moeraki Boulders are a group of large spherical “stones” on Koekohe Beach near Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast. These boulders are actually concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs. Even today, there are still boulders remaining in the mudstone that will, eventually, fall on to the beach as they come lose due to erosion!

The boulders are one of the most fascinating and popular attractions on the South Island.

OBPC Evening March 2019 Cindy 62

Little Blue Penguins

The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony is one of the most famous attractions in Oamaru.

The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony provides visitors with an opportunity to see little penguins in their natural environment. A tour during the day allows visitors to peek into the penguins’ nests, stroll through their habitat and learn about their fascinating lives. In the evening, visitors are captivated by watching the nightly arrival of penguins from their days’ fishing at sea.


Oamaru Public Gardens

You'll feel the magic of Oamaru Public Gardens the moment you enter the classical main gates on Severn Street. Started in 1876, these gardens are a botanical expression of Oamaru's Victorian history.

Just inside the entrance is the Craig Fountain. Made of fine Italian marble, this outstanding fountain is surrounded by colourful bedding areas.


Steampunk HQ

Steampunk HQ is an art collaboration and gallery in the historic Victorian precinct of Oamaru, New Zealand. Opened in November 2011, it celebrates its own industrial take on steampunk via an array of contraptions and sculptures, complemented by audio-visual installations in two darkened rooms and part of the buildings basement. A yard also contains a collection of other industrial parts and projects in various stages of completion.


Oamaru's Victorian Precinct

Visit and explore Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct and experience what this architecturally stunning and unique area has to offer. Explore and enjoy a number of great attractions and activities including galleries, craft, antique and book stores, as well as eateries and bars serving up some delicious food, fine wine, craft beer and world-class whisky. Come along and join in the fun of Victorian Oamaru.

Elephant Rocks

Wander through the towering limestone rocks at Elephant Rocks. A geological wonder of the Waitaki, this unique landscape has featured in films such as Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Shag Point - mini boulders

Shag Point

Shag Point/Matakaea has a rich history, from early Ngai Tahu settlement to historic coalmining. The area has diverse marine life. It has interesting flora, is great for wildlife viewing, and is geologically fascinating. It is one of the best places in New Zealand to watch Fur Seals as they sleep and bask in the sunshine!

Lake Benmore reflection on lake

Lake Benmore & Benmore Dam

Lake Benmore is a lake located in the South Island of New Zealand. It was artificially created in the 1960s by construction of Benmore Dam. The lake covers an area of approximately 75 km².


Vanished World

The community -inspired Vanished World Society was formed in the early 2000s to help raise public awareness about the geology of the Waitaki district. The Society is active in promoting the science, conservation and appropriate use of fossils, outcrops, and landforms, through a process of education, science -communication and “hands-on experience”.


Whitestone Cheese Factory

Whitestone Cheese was founded in 1987 as a diversification during the 1980’s rural downturn and a series of crippling droughts.
Bob’s experience in livestock trading was quickly applied to cheese trading. The original factory was set up in Oamaru in a converted garage with milk sourced from local farms and one variety, Whitestone Farmhouse was launched.
The business slowly grew as an extension of the farming operation until todays purpose built factory was commissioned in 1998. Son Simon joined the business bringing a new set of skills and the farm was sold to concentrate on growing the exciting family enterprise.
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26 Exe Street, Oamaru, New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 434 3437

Email: stay@highfieldmews.co.nz