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Oamaru

Oamaru (New Zealand)

Practical information on Oamaru

  • Family
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
1hr 30min by car from Dunedin
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Oamaru

Delphine Teisserenc Seasoned Traveller
46 written opinions

Situated on the east coast of South Island, New Zealand, Oamaru is a charming little town that has managed to preserve its historical center and is home to small businesses that have embraced its colonial theme. 

My suggestion:
Take the time to stroll along its old street, to appreciate its stunning architecture and visit the shops that line the sidewalk.
My review

New Zealand is known for its penguin colonies, one of which is found on Oamaru's coast. All along this stretch, you'll find bird watching areas where you can spot yellow-eyed and little blue penguins. They're sometimes difficult to observe, even if you follow the guidelines that suggest you go two hours before nightfall.

There's also the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony center at ' Oamaru,, that charges a reasonable entry fee. Having not been able to see the penguins on the coast, I decided to pay the center a visit. There were numerous nests and their little residents were incubating their egg. If you come here in the evening, you can go out on to stands and watch the birds come home after their busy day at sea.

Later in the evening, I went to the top of the cliff at Beach Road, where I found a bird watching hut belonging to the DOC (Department of Conservation); I decided to try my luck... And it worked! I saw yellow-eyed penguins playing in the waves and others waddling across the beach to reach their nests. 

Another must-see is on the road heading south, where you'll find a trail that leads to the Moeraki Boulders - huge, spherical boulders that are dotted across the beach. As you can imagine, this is a popular New Zealand tourist attraction, so choose your time well if you want a bit of peace and quiet. 

Tours and travel ideas Oamaru

  • Off the beaten track
Off the tourist track New Zealand
Length 15 days Approx. $7,800
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