Oamaru–Give it More than One Night!

One of the things that people in Oamaru hear more than anything else from visitors is something along the lines of “Wow! If only we had known about all the things to do here, we’d have planned to stay longer.” In the past few weeks, I have heard this an awful lot, and it’s one of those things that all you can do when you hear it is shrug and say “well, be sure to tell your friends, so they’ll benefit from your experience.”

But we can do better, and that’s what this little blog aims to do–to share with you the experience of so many people who stumble across Oamaru and wish they could have stayed longer. Here’s what one set of guests to Oamaru’s historic Pen-y-bryn Lodge had to say about their visit on Tripadvisor:

If we had to do it again, rather than spending a night in Auckland, we would stay here two nights and have dinner at the lodge at least one of those nights. It would deb say to spend a half-day poking around Victorian Oamaru and another half-day traveling and walking around the cliffs on the coast.

There really is a tremendous amount to do here, as this non-exclusive list shows:

  • Visit the penguin colonies
  • Meander through the Historic Precinct
  • Check out the exhibits at the Forrester Gallery and North Otago Museum
  • Peruse the art galleries of Harbour and Tyne Streets
  • Go for a cheese tasting at Whitestone Cheese Factory
  • Stroll through the Oamaru Public Gardens
  • Go back in time at Totara Estate and Clarks Mill
  • See how the future might have been at Steampunk HQ
  • Sample the wines of the Waitaki Valley
  • Follow any of a number of hiking trails
  • Bike all or a part of the Alps 2 Ocean bike trail
  • Wander along the Vanished World Trail of ancient geological formations
  • Photograph all the beautiful scenery of the area
  • Have a massage or reflexology treatment (or both)
  • Watch replica classic cars be built at Tempero’s
  • Eat some of NZ’s tastiest food at some of the country’s destination restaurants
  • Fish some of the country’s most pristine and beautiful rivers
  • Visit the Janet Frame house
  • Do nothing at all and just soak in the atmosphere of one of NZ’s most charming towns

We are not the only ones who believe in Oamaru as a multi-day destination. Guests of Pen-y-bryn were recently sent to Oamaru for a three-night stay by their travel agents. When sent their itinerary, the guests asked “why Oamaru, and why for so long” and the agent just said “trust us”. They spent their time extremely well, going on a short fishing expedition one afternoon, followed by a session with one of the South Island’s most sought-after reflexologists; walking along Bushy Beach; having a delicious chef’s choice lunch at Riverstone Kitchen; shopping for art at the galleries; and hanging around Pen-y-bryn Lodge, where they enjoyed three table d’hôte dinners in a row.

So, when you plan your visit to New Zealand’s South Island, be sure to leave enough time to give Oamaru its due–you’ll be very glad you did!

This entry was posted in Activities, Architecture, Art, drink, food, General, gourmet, heritage, history, new zealand, shopping, Steampunk, tourism, travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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