Historic Oamaru

A grand Victorian streetscape carved in distinctive local stone and built on the bounty of wool and grain.

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Oamaru’s remarkably intact and distinctive streetscapes were largely built within the space of 30 years. This atmospheric setting tells the story of Victorian hopes and dreams during the boom years of the late 19th century.

There remains a strong sense of its former role as the majestic colonial outpost that played a key part in Otago’s industrial and agricultural heritage. Visitors can walk in and around the ornate and well-preserved buildings that housed merchant and engineering enterprises, grain stores and banks.  A destination not just for tourists wanting to look and wander through, but also for those wanting more.

Victorian wardrobe hire allows people to deepen the sense of stepping back in time, alongside newer steampunk enthusiasts who come already dressed for the part. Local groups protect, use, and promote this unique town whose harbour provided a transport link with Britain for many years: for pioneers, goldminers, and the burgeoning wool, grain, and frozen meat trade.

Oamaru's Victorian Precinct is proudly cared for by The Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust.

Facilities and Information

  • accessible Wheel chair accessibility
  • wc Toilet
  • directions_walk Walking involved

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Oamaru is the largest town in North Otago, located 80 km south of Timaru and 120 km north of Dunedin on State Highway 1.

Other Tohu Whenua in Otago