Oamaru is Waitaki's main town. In 2014 Lonely Planet named Oamaru NZs Coolest Town and it is! Home to around 12,000 people, Oamaru offers some pretty special things – the historic Victorian precinct (including Victorian Heritage Week), little blue penguins and Steampunk HQ.
European settlement began in 1853 in Oamaru. The Harbour, during the late 19th Century, was vital for Oamaru and its farming hinterland. Grain and wool were housed in often-ornate warehouses built and carved from locally quarried Oamaru limestone. As the rural economy boomed, the Harbour area became a hub for prosperous businesses, banks, hotels and new industries. Today, many of the majestic Oamaru Whitestone buildings comprising the Harbour/Tyne Historic Precinct still stand. They are now home to a collection of curio shops, restaurants, gift stores, a Motoring Museum, a hotel, a fascinating book store, traditional craftsmen, the Oamaru Steam Train and Sunday markets.
Waitaki District Council
20 Thames Street Oamaru, Waitaki District, Otago.
Main phone: 03 433 0300.