What to do in Oamaru

Oamaru, on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, prospered during the nineteenth century and retains streets of intact grand stone buildings. Even industrial buildings exude an air of Victorian elegance and extravagance.

The town established its 34 acres (13.75 hectares) of public gardens in 1876, a serene and well used town resource. This is another example of New Zealand’s admirable devotion to providing public access to the outdoors. Here the gardens supplement the extensive walking and cycling trails around town and by the sea front, offering links to lengthy trails along the coast and into the Southern Alps .

The Japanese Red Bridge, Oamaru Public Gardens

The town’s generous spirit and strong artistic flavour welcomes visitors with its excellent restaurant and pub options, fine Victorian streetscapes, and extensive displays of public art, including whimsical sculptures down by the old port. Even penguins are welcome, and several colonies flourish at Oamaru’s beaches.

This is my contribution to Tiffin’s A-Z Guidebook, this month starting with the letter ‘O’.