Oamaru's most significant feature is its abundance of whitestone buildings. This unique ‘Oamaru Stone' is quarried nearby and many of the town's original buildings, including grain and wool stores, were built in an ornate style using the stone. In the old Harbour/Tyne Historic Precinct many of these buildings still stand and some are still used for their original purpose. They also now house curious shops, gift stores, restaurants and a motoring museum. Just a little along the harbour front a little blue penguin colony attracts visitors at dusk to watch as they return to their burrows and along the coastline yellow eyed penguins can often be sighted.
Oamaru's Blue Penguins nest close to town under the cliffs along the Historic Harbour foreshore. The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony is just beyond the Victorian Heritage Precinct and you are within walking distance of the town centre, close to shops, restaurants and accommodation.
When penguins are on shore and have chosen to nest in the Blue Wing it is possible to see them within a couple of feet of you. At the appropriate times of the year you may see them incubating eggs or guarding the tiny chicks. You can watch the chicks as they wait for their daily meal to return with their parents.
You will be seated 2-3 metres from where the blue penguins arrive and cross into the colony. And be treated to an informative commentary by a trained guide. This Viewing is 1 and a half hours and includes the opportunity to enter the breeding colony on a boardwalk and walk among the blue penguin nesting burrows.
This garden was originally created to display the Oamaru Stone the region is famous for, but was slowly been expanded to include a large formal garden. Featuring beautiful foliage mixed with local rock carvings this garden is a delightful mix of classic and contemporary, located in the heart of the North Otago countryside.