Oamaru in Spring is the best. The magnolia are just popping out, the beaches around the area are quieter and wild and it’s a perfect time to get on the road and see what’s been happening in the Waitaki.
I spent a long weekend shopping, eating, drinking, walking, photographing and rediscovering this amazing town and it’s history. New eyes on the place and I couldn’t help but want to move to this town where most things are in walking distance from each other and there’s something to look at at each turn. Don’t forget to look up people.
It was mindblowingly awesome. I couldn’t believe how much stuff there was to do and see and it’s wild and beautiful. You have to get in your car and go for the weekend, a mid week jaunt, to see the old buildings, the coffee, the community. It’s beautiful and only three and a half hours drive from Queenstown (and what a drive!).
I was lucky enough to visit three accommodation providers in Oamaru; the beautiful Steampunk loft which is in walking distance of town. A gorgeous one bedroom loft inspired with steampunk recycled materials utilised for today’s purposes. A fully stocked kitchen for cooking and coffee in the morning, views of the harbour and neighbouring Cathedral dome and the comfiest bed cozily overlooking lounge on its mezzanine floor.
Full views down into the town from the gorgeous loft window. Bathroom with shower, washer, dryer and all the things you could need if you holed up here for the weekend. But you won’t because Oamaru awaits!
The Vicarage is a beautifully restored building right near the centre of town. Incredible interiors, thoughtful little extras (candles, locally sourced products) and hosts Nora and Michael have done absolute wonders to this 1901 building. It gathers you up in its coziness and allows you to sit and just breathe whilst staying there.
Divine linen, little touches of fresh baking, fluffy towels and swoon-worthy colour scheme all wrapped around the house which is steeped in history.
Pale greens, hints of pink and sun drenched bedrooms to lounge in, play cards in, actually not move until someone drags you out of the huge beds and says “come on!”.
Poshtel is a feast for the eyes in that each room is completely different.
Art pieces at every turn, huge sofas to languish in, rooms created around stories and sport and a wonderful feeling of you’ll never know what is around the next corner. A place that you will probably never experience again. Art Gallery is on site too for meandering and the huge lounge space that greets you is perfect if you’re a book reader or want to grab a drink before heading out into town.
This is the best place to constantly look up (art is everywhere) and have your camera ready. A huge kitchen (alongside the living room space) for when you need to make a cosy night even cosier. History of Otago seeps from the walls and is etched in every single part of the place. Mouth on the floor for most of the time I spent there. Eyeballs overloaded but excited. What a place!
You know me by now and my weekends usually surround food and sitting down. So Cucina is the perfect place for taking your favourite holiday companions. Argentinian born Yanina and Pablo have created an absolutely magical experience with their restaurant. Award winning, dishes are centred around unique flavours and freshness with a stunning wine list to boot and fine dining in a completely relaxed experience. Meats, fresh salads, sumptuous carrots in honey, cocktails fresh from a morning of the chef creating them and if you’re a plant lover. Well you just found your restaurant baby.
Try the Aged rib eye. Oy!
Tees Street cafe is open from 7am in the week and 8.30am weekends, grab a hot coffee and settle into one of the best menu’s in Oamaru for breakfast and lunch. Staple favourites (eggs Benedict) sit amongst crispy fried chicken tacos (my fave!) and all the sweet treats you could ask for.
You can tell Yanina loves her plants. Another haven for all things green.
Inc Design Store is home to not only the most beautiful backdrop (home circa 1900’s) for a shop but a space where Helen (kindest woman ever alert) showcases her own Tinch designs and also those of local designers and artists. A beautiful feast for the eye balls and you will want everything.
Clothes, pottery, jewellery, ceramics, art work, bags, purses, homewares. I could have stayed in there all day and still have not seen it all. All surrounded and enveloped in the marvellous house that Helen has cleverly updated and made a home.
Every single thing that has been chosen to be there has a story and this is what makes it all so magical. As though you are buying into a great memory, yours forever.
Inside Out Clothing Oamaru is home to everyone’s preloved clothes, shoes and jewellery. Originally started in Dunedin they now have a store in Oamaru and how lucky are we!?
Great to have a rummage around and I caught a pair of Calvin Klein Mary Jane’s that were a size too small (dammit). It’s a great place to get yourself a bargain and as everything is colour coded you can head to your favourite bit of the shop first!
Take your fave classic pieces if you need a clear out and snap up a bargain while you’re in there.
William Bee General Merchants started by two young mums Anneke and Sarah as they saw a gap in the market for all things lovely for babies and little ones.
It quickly developed into a passion for all things that everyone needs and so when I entered this epic tardis of rooms filled with beautiful presents and produce not only for babies but for young, older and definitely a thing or two to buy for yourself.
Cards, clothing, art work, socks, skincare, sunglasses. I could go on and on and on but I won’t because you’re going to see for yourself! I wanted everything and the building is drenched in sunlight. Great for all your Instagram snaps right there!
Oamaru is completely and utterly fantastic. It has food, wine, coffee, shopping, buildings, history. A community who is working hard to provide the most magical experience for anyone who visits. I absolutely positively will be back again and so should you if you haven’t visited in a while or not at all (whaaat?!)
I am so thankful for the relationships I’ve now created forever through this piece and I hope you love it as much as I did.
3.5 hrs from Queenstown
Close to my heart forever.
I worked with five businesses to create this piece and if I didn’t think you’d like them I wouldn’t write about them.
Inc Design Store
Inside Out Clothing