Oamaru (ah-ma-roo), a coastal town of New Zealand known for its Blue and Yellow-eyed penguin colonies, has a thriving arts scene in its Historic Precinct. Housed in 19th century buildings made from local whitestone, eclectic shops and galleries showcase printing, tile painting, stone carving, fabric arts and antiques. Among the store fronts, a supplier packs and exports bales of sheep’s wool — some of it Merino, the finest in the world. Around the corner, Steampunk culture is on display at the Steampunk HQ with a locomotive out front that sputters and smokes with the funky, retro vibe found throughout town. For culinary explorers, the NZ Malt Whiskey Company and Whitestone Cheese Factory & Cafe offer tours, tasting and treats.

There’s lots to do in Oamaru! See the penguins at dusk, find a memento of New Zealand and have a pint at Fat Sally’s or a savory pie from the bakery down the street.

16 comments

    1. Ted! I have no bird pics! The penguins come in every day at dusk and we were there mid-day. Have you been to NZ? You would love it! Beautiful, mountainous terrain everywhere. Heli-ski post coming next. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I think they were just behind the main street. Now you have a reason to go back- the bookbinder makes beautiful journals and the covers are hand-marbled! Glad you are having a great time in NZ ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. Wish I had known! I’m a designer, so I’m instantly attracted to anything paper or printing related. Thanks for the tip for next time! Just read your post on Oamaru — great to compare our discoveries of such an unknown gem. Congrats on 6th place in the world! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love your Lustrum Project mission, by the way. Nice to connect with you!

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      3. Thanks! I am glad I found your blog too- you hooked me at Burma. I am dropping hints to my boyfriend about a really interesting 30th bday present!

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      4. That’s a GREAT present!! And 30 is a big thing to celebrate. (I spent 30 in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal.) If you go to Burma, don’t miss Bagan, The temples are spectacular. I wish we had seen Inle Lake (not enough time). Yangon is mind-blowing — poor, primitive, beautiful, rich with life and surprising. Explore the streets by foot (during the day) and make sure you take a camera!

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