Family Friendly Food Travel Travel Tips

Top 10 Things to Do in Oamaru – Part One

Written by Rachel Simpson

Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or a born and raised New Zealander, Oamaru is a true treasure in the country. It’s a small town in the Waitaki district of New Zealand. There are historical buildings, beautiful blue beaches, quirky culture and many natural landmarks. Let’s explore some of the fun things you can do while visiting Oamaru.

Getting Around on an e-Bike

The first thing that we recommend for exploring the natural beauty of Oamaru is to rent a bike. The city is full of landmarks, pristine streets and great things to see. With a bike, you will be able to move quickly around town without missing a thing. Connect yourself with the fresh air, excellent weather and the people as you sight-see. The Town Bike is an awesome electric bike company that allows you to rent electric bikes for your trip. They encourage exploration and adventure as you enjoy your time in Oamaru.

Steam Cafe

Steam is a specialty coffee shop and fruit juice shop. A petite and funky cafe in the main street and right next to the main trunk line, they sell beans for you to grind, as well as fresh coffee and juices. You won’t just enjoy first class coffee, gourmet food and attentive service, you will probably get to hang out around Oamaru’s many zany characters who make “Steam” their special watering hole.

March of the Blue Penguins

Oamaru is famous for its blue penguin colony. Every night, the adorable little blue penguins waddle onto the shore and march to their nest; a stone quarry near the waterfront. The city has stands available on either side of the march route. For general admission, visitors can pay $28 for adults and $14 for children. With premium admission visitors can use the premium stand across the board walk, which costs $40 for adults and $20 for children.

The biggest influx of the little birds usually occurs in the months of November and December, where you can see up to 250 birds in a night. The least amount of birds are from March to August, where you will only see about 10 to 50 birds in a night. They arrive on the shore from around 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and it takes them about an hour to waddle to their nests in the stone quarry. It might be cold when you come to visit so you should dress warmly. If you’re curious to learn about the city’s involvement in preserving the penguin population, you can take a guided tour in the day time for $16 for adults and $8 for children.

Moeraki Boulders

The Moeraki Boulders are beautiful deposits strewn all along the waterfront of the beaches of Oamaru. Large, beautiful and unique looking, you can get a good view of Yellow-Eyed Penguins from there. You can also travel toward the Moeraki lighthouse for more adventure.

Northstar Restaurant

If you are in Oamaru, there is always a reason to celebrate. But, Northstar is known amongst the local people as the place to go when it’s time to bust out and have a great time! Even though it is attached to a hotel, Northstar is extremely popular. Their food is delicious, robust, bistro style and the locals also love their drinks as well.


And the best way to enjoy Oamaru? In your own private motorhome! Rent directly from owners with Mighway, and let the journey unfold!

Read Part Two here.

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