Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Oamaru is located on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand an hour and a half drive north of Dunedin. Maori first settled in this area in the 12th century and the first Europeans who visited here were sailors of James Cook's expedition in 1770. The settlement of Oamaru became a city in 1859 and today is the Steampunk centre of New Zealand. It attracts tourists with its Victorian architecture, the Steampunk Museum and the Victorian Fete festival which is held annually in November. Oamaru is an atmospheric place with old limestone shipping warehouses lining the waterfront, streets named after the English rivers, plus museums, workshops and cozy restaurants. It is very pleasant to spend several hours here or even a whole day fossicking around the interesting stores or indulging in a delicious ice cream. It's a great stopover on the road to Mount Cook.