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Area Info

Area Info

South Island

Oamaru is just one of the many gems in the South Island of New Zealand. 

If you’re planning a trip to the South Island of New Zealand, take your time and plan your route before you leave. The South Island’s largest cities are Christchurch and Dunedin, with many smaller towns such as Oamaru, creating a generally rural atmosphere. The South Island is home to around a quarter of the total New Zealand population. The South Island’s landscape is dominated by the Southern Alps, a majestic mountain range which stretches from north to south. 

The South Island’s landscape is famous due to its appearances throughout the Lord of the Ring Trilogy. Areas such as Queenstown and Arrowtown have benefited greatly through increased tourism, from overseas visitors wanting to see the many locations in which the films were shot. The South Island is also well known for its many adventure and adrenalin activities. Queenstown is the hub for adventure, with Bungee Jumping, Sky Diving, Jet Boating up the river all available to test your boundaries. Skiing and snowboarding is also an extremely popular activity in the winter months, with the Queenstown Winter Festival kicking off the season every year. 

Come and stay with us at Northstar Motel, during your trip around the South Island of New Zealand. We offer affordable, quality motel accommodation, close to all of Oamaru’s shops and activities. 

Things to see and Do

Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony 
During your stay at Northstar Motel , take a day to get to know the world’s smallest penguins in their natural environment. The colony nest within walking distance of the town centre of Oamaru, under the cliffs in the harbour. This is a great family activity during your Oamaru holiday. Day tours and evening tours available. 

Moeraki Boulders 
The Moeraki Boulders can be found 40km south of Oamaru. The boulders are a group of huge round stones, seen strewn on the beach. The boulders were formed around 60 million years ago and the sea is slowly eroding the boulders and revealing new ones. The largest boulders are an amazing three metres in diameter! This is a great natural attraction, not to be missed. 

Oamaru’s Historical Heritage Buildings 
Oamaru boasts an amazing collection of historic Victorian buildings, which date back to the 1860s. The buildings, which include the National Bank, the Opera House and the former post office, are all well preserved, and give Oamaru the charm of a European village. Many of the buildings were designed by John Forrester, an architect strongly linked with Oamaru. 
A selection of the stunning buildings are open to the public. Contact the Oamaru I-Site for more information. 

Arts, Crafts and Shopping 
From gifts and souvenirs, to The Woolstore Galleries and Whitestone Cheese, cheese makers, Oamaru has something to suit everyone. Stroll down the main street of Oamaru and pop in to the many unique shops and galleries. Oamaru also has a range of typical New Zealand stores, such as Farmers and The Warehouse, for all your basic needs. 

A Day at the Beach 
In the heart of Oamaru is Friendly Bay, Oamaru’s Harbour beach, great for fishing, paddling, kayaking and rowing. For beautiful swimming beaches, venture south to Kakanui. In this beautiful area you will find Campbell’s Bay, perfect for swimming and surfing and All Day Bay, with stunning golden sand, rock pools and sand dunes. 

Waitaki Lakes 
The Waitaki region boasts a number of amazing natural and man-made lakes for you to enjoy. 
Lake Aviemore, Lake Benmore, and Lake Waitaki are great for swimming, fishing and water sports. Take your family, a picnic and a camera and spend the day relaxing in one of these pristine locations.