Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – New Zealand chapter on Dunedin & Otago has to say about Oamaru:
“A history of refrigerated-meat shipping made Oamaru prosperous enough in the 19th century to build the imposing limestone buildings that grace the town today. In its 1880s heyday, Oamaru was about the same size as Los Angeles was at the same time.
Oamaru has some of NZ’s best-preserved historic commercial buildings, particularly around the harbour and Tyne St, an area designated the Historic Precinct. They were built from the 19th century, largely using the local limestone (known as Oamaru stone or whitestone) in fashionable classic forms, from Gothic revival to neoclassical Italianate and Venetian palazzo.
On Thames St, Oamaru’s expansive main drag – laid out to accommodate the minimum turning circle of a bullock cart – don’t miss the National Bank at No 11 and the Oamaru Opera House at No 92. The fascinating area of narrow streets in the historic precinct is now home to book- shops, antique stores, galleries, and vintage clothing shops and craft bookbinders.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD