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New Zealand ItinerariesTravel distance is approximately 119kms (74 miles).
Allow at least 1.5 hours drive time (not including stops).

Because the trip to Oamaru is short we suggest that you visit the ‘must do’ attractions and activities of Dunedin and you definitely shouldn’t leave the city without at least visiting a castle and experiencing award-winning eco tourism.

As you leave the city of Dunedin you can sit back and enjoy the short drive that is flooded with history and scenic highlights.

Some notable stops along the route to Oamaru include:

Located in the small rural township of Palmerston, the museum preserves the memories of Scottish families who have resided in Palmerston, Otago and the Waihemo area. Search through Scottish memorabilia, district photos, accounts of residents and their customs and language in songs – especially from the North-East of Scotland.

40km’s south of Oamaru you will discover the perfectly spherical Moeraki Boulders scattered along the beach. Believed to be at least 60 million years old, each boulder weighs several tonnes and can be up to two metres high.

New Zealand’s only surviving water-powered flourmill with early machinery still intact is located on State Highway 1, Maheno on the way towards Oamaru. Built around 1865 and now part of the Historic Places Trust.

Nestled on the South Island’s east coast, Oamaru has a population of around 12,000 and an impressive heritage. Boasting an impressive collection of grand neo-classical buildings that now house a range of businesses, galleries and eateries, there are plenty of unique heritage attractions within this large town.

From historic lodges and restored homesteads to motels, tourist cabins, holiday parks and hotels, you will have no problems finding accommodation to suit your budget!

Oamaru now has a respectable choice of dining options, including quality cafes, restaurants, pubs and the usual takeway outlets. Make sure you sample some of the local produce, including fresh Blue Cod fish, lamb or beef, accompanied by a Central Otago wine.

Highly recommended Oamaru tourist attractions include…

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides – Operating daily during the summer season, horse-drawn carriage rides around the historic precinct and town centre offer an unique city tour.

North Otago Museum – Located in Thames Street, the museum is located within an 1882 historic building. The museum collection reflects the natural and social history of the Waitaki District, including early examples of Maori rock art.

Oamaru Public Gardens – This beautiful Victorian inspired garden is renowned for its beauty and encompasses 13 hectares of magnificent trees, shrubberies, and flower beds. Established in 1876, some unique features include the glass display house, Mirror Lake, Chinese Gardens, Craig Fountain and the famous Wonderland Statue. Grab a picnic and enjoy!

Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony – Only a couple of minutes from the centre of Oamaru is New Zealand’s largest scientifically monitored blue penguin colony. Daily tours take visitors into the heart of the penguin’s habitat.

New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries

Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!

  • 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
  • 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
  • 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
  • 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
  • 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
  • 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
  • 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
  • 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
  • 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch