©

Oamaru trip planner

Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free

Itinerary Planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
Adults
- +
Teens
- +
Kids
- +
Close

Oamaru

(4.1/5 based on 4,200+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, museums, parks
Oamaru HistoryThere are some important archaeological sites around Oamaru. Those at the Waitaki River mouth and at Awamoa both date from the Archaic (Moa-hunter) phase of Māori culture, when New Zealand's human population clustered along the south-east coast from about AD 1100. The Waitaki River mouth had at least 1,200 ovens. Awamoa saw the first archaeological excavation in New Zealand when W.B.D. Mantell dug there at Christmas 1847 and in 1852. Smaller Archaic sites exist at Cape Wanbrow and at Beach Road in central Oamaru. The distinctive Archaic art of the Waitaki Valley rock shelters dates from this period — some of it presumably made by the occupants of these sites. The area also features Classic and Protohistoric sites, from after about AD 1500, at Tamahaerewhenua, Tekorotuaheka, Te Punamaru, Papakaio and Kakanui.Māori tradition tells of the ancient people Kahui Tipua building a canoe, Arai Te Uru, which sailed from southern New Zealand to the ancestral Polynesian homeland, Hawaiki, to obtain kumara. On its return it became waterlogged off the Waitaki River mouth, lost food baskets at Moeraki beach and ended up wrecked at Matakaea (Shag Point) where it turned into Danger Reef. After the wreck a crew member, Pahihiwitahi, seeking water, discovered the Waitaki River, but on returning south and failing to reach the wreck before dawn he was turned into a hill in the Shag Valley. Modern academics have suggested this tale is an allegorical explanation of the fact that kumara will not grow south of Banks Peninsula.
To personalize your trip to Oamaru, create itinerary details specific to you using our New Zealand trip itinerary builder.
Source
Create a full itinerary — for free!

Plan your trip to Oamaru

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Oamaru

Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Extend your holiday

Visit top cities near Oamaru:
Museums, wildlife areas, historic sites
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Nature, historic sites, sightseeing
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Wineries, sightseeing, outdoors
Visit for: 3 daysStart a plan »
Outdoors, nature, trails
Visit for: 1 dayStart a plan »
Winter sports
Visit for: 1 dayStart a plan »

Recently planned trips to Oamaru

50 days in New Zealand & Australia BY A USER FROM GERMANY October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Oamaru BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in South Island BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 16 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM HONG KONG May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM INDONESIA March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 42 days in South Island BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Oamaru BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 39 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND March, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 2 days in Oamaru BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 1 day in Oamaru BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans