80 km (50 miles)
Approximately 1 hour
Road Conditions: State Highway
The town of Oamaru has a population of around 12,000 and an impressive heritage. Many of the elegant historic buildings were made from the local sandstone. Visit the Harbour-Tyne area - the best-preserved collection of historic commercial buildings in New Zealand. You should also check out the penguin colony, the museum and the pretty public gardens.
River crossings are a feature of the journey north. If you enjoy fly fishing, you could make this trip last a long time. Just before the town of Hook, take a detour to Waimate to see the museum and an original thatched cottage – it was made from a single tree. In summer the Waimate District is overflowing with delicious berry fruits.
Timaru is a small but beautifully formed city. The historic walk will introduce you to many of the old buildings. Enjoy the boutique brewery, botanic gardens and the park at Caroline Bay, which has an aviary and a maze. Timaru also has the third largest public art gallery in the South Island and an excellent museum.
South Hill and Skyline Walks
Work up an appetite with one of Oamaru's scenic walks. Choose the challenging Skyline Walk or the relatively easy South Hill Walkway.
Explore four carefully restored stone farm buildings and find out about farming life in the 1800s.
Spying on the Little Blue Penguins
The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony offers a unique opportunity to observe the world's smallest penguin.
Harbour & Tyne Historic Precinct
Steam train rides and a lively market make Sundays fun in Oamaru's Harbour & Tyne Historic Precinct.
You simply can't drive along the North Otago coast without stopping to stare at the Moeraki Boulders - they're amazing!
Oamaru Public Gardens
A botanical wonderland from Victorian days, the Oamaru Public Gardens are a beautiful place to stroll and dream.
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