There are plenty of little spots of heaven up and down this great little country that is New Zealand, but we chose Oamaru to call home.
(photo: overlooking Oamaru, the harbour and Cape Wanbrow)
Oamaru has found it's way into my heart, coming from the UK to live here over 9 years ago I have been fortunate to visit a few places in the South Island of New Zealand, including Blenheim, Queenstown, Dunedin, Nelson, Christchurch, Greymouth, all unique in their own way but Oamaru stole my heart by being itself, along with the harbour, surrounding beaches and amazing architecture. Dubbed the steampunk captial of New Zealand, Oamaru has that charm of not caring what the rest of the country thinks and doing things how they want. What do I mean? Come for a visit and see out playground at the harbour, it is a mash of child friendly fun mixed with jules verne madness of steampunk creations. You may feel as if you have time warped back to the Victorian era as it is quite common place to don you sunday best and victorian garb for a shopping trip into town where you will encounter some of the weirdest but friendlest people on the planet, be careful as you cross the road for a penny farthing might just be around the bend.
Come visit during our annual Victorian fete and be blown away by the outpour of creativity and famdon for the art of steampunk. We even have a steampunk HQ, a musuem dedicated to the art, with a full sized steam engine mounted outside, draped in goblins and ghouls. Slot in a $2 coin and bring it to life with sound and lights, its a sight to be seen. Then there is the buildings a majority of them carved from the local Oamaru limestone "whitestone" that have stood in place since the town was first created. Including the picturesque Victorian district that is littered with artisian shops and even houses a limestone sculpture where you can view pieces of art being made. Newly added to the district is the Whitestone experience a musuem that allows you to walk through the history of Oamaru.
Then there is the harbour, which has a newly added course to help children learn to ride a bike and be road safe, the minature steam railway, the playground and the galley steampunk cafe. Along with that the old wharfe houses a large shag colony and is home to the friendly and treasured little blue penguins, who choose Oamaru to call home. Nesting along the harbour on all sides they have a safe haven in the form of the penguin colony who look after them and highlight their arrival at the end of each day from a viewing arena, it is a sight to be seen. There is even sign posts warning you to go slow and beware of penguins as you travel around the harbour area.
If you are lucky enough to visit during the spring months you may even get to spot families with their little bundles of fluff dotted around the edges of the roadway, they are not bothered by humans at all but if you are ready this and plan to visit be kind and don't use flash photography around these adorable critters as that can affect their vision and upset them. Who would want to upset these adorable little things, and I love that they are such a huge symbol for this little town.
As well as the town and harbour areas, there are surrounding villages that hide their own unique treasures, such as Kakanui with one of the best surfing beaches in the South Island, and then there is the lake districts at your doorstep, with the mighty Waitaki river and it's champion sized salmon to the power dams including Waitaki, Argyle and Benmore.
Why have I chosen to dedicate a blog post to Oamaru you may ask! Pasithea was created and resides in a little suburb just outside of Oamaru, one of our goals is to one day have a shop in this unique little town. We wanted to celebrate our love of Oamaru and to annouce that we have installed the option for free delivery to the Oamaru area, that includes Kakanui, Maheno and Weston. What better way to let everyone know this than to write a "love" blog for this little great town.
Love Pasithea x
Posted: Tuesday 3 October 2017