Discovering Victoriana and Blue Penguins in the South Island

Exploring the Otago's Waitaki region by car

Recently we had the pleasure of visiting the Waitaki District of North Otago in New Zealand's South Island - and what a gem we discovered. 

Oamaru, the region's main town, is fascinating and a delightful place to wander around. Its Victorian precinct boasts beautifully preserved heritage buildings built in the local limestone. They stand nowadays as symbols of prosperous times enjoyed during the late 19th century when people were drawn to the town by the gold mining, quarrying and timber industries. In the 21st century the Victorian Precinct is the workplace of around 50 businesses: retailers, artisans and artists.You can even learn to ride a penny-farthing cycle - if you dare!

Continuing Oamaru's Victorian theme is the Steampunk Museum - where everything goes and your head will be scrambled by everything you see. It's no use trying to describe Steampunk, although many people have tried.  Let's just say it's anyone's and everyone's vision of Victorian science fiction brought into the present day. To fully understand you'll just have to visit the museum and epexerience it for yourself

Just as appealing but very different is the nightly parade of Blue Penguins. Tourism Waitaki has done a marvellous job of showcasing this natural phenomenon for the benefits of visitors to the area, ensuring that the penguins are viewed in an environment that is non-intrusive and non-threatening.  We can highly recommend it.

Finally, it would be remiss of us to leave this very brief visit to Oamaru without mentioning the famous Riverstone Kitchen where we had the privilege of dining.  In one word - superb!

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