Welcome to New Zealand’s Waitaki District!

Located in the centre of New Zealand’s beautiful South Island, and stretching from the Pacific Coast deep into the Southern Alps, the Waitaki District is one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing travel destinations for both international and domestic visitors. Offering a wealth of unique experiences, from the historic and quirky town of Oamaru (considered by Lonely Planet to be “New Zealand’s coolest town”) to the wine-growing area of Kurow, and to the world-famous coastal village of Moeraki with its iconic boulders and the historic town of Palmerston, the Waitaki District is a region that rewards a multiple-night visit.

The Waitaki Tourism Association is an independent organisation that unites all the myriad attractions and traveller-related services in the Waitaki District, and offers a one-stop resource for you to learn about the range of accommodations, restaurants, activities and other worthwhile destinations that our district has to offer. Come inside and plan your visit with us!

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The Waitaki District is Open for the Holidays!

As we approach the arrival of Christmas and New Years, we at the Waitaki Tourism Association hope that you have had a wonderful year, and that your holidays will be full of joy and happiness. If you are planning to be in the Waitaki District for all or part of the holidays, you’ll be pleased to know that there will be plenty of shops, restaurants and attractions open to keep you occupied, fed and entertained during your stay.

This list was compiled by the people at Oamaru’s i-Site, and is correct as of the time it was compiled. If you are in any doubt, please be sure to contact the businesses directly to confirm their status or to make a booking.

Xmas OpeningXmas Opening2Xmas Opening ActivitiesXmas Opening Activities2

WTA App Now Available for iPhone

iPhone App

Here’s a last-minute gift from the Waitaki Tourism Association for our iPhone-using friends. The Exploring Waitaki app that came out for Android devices has now been released by the Apple App Store for use on iPhones and other iOS devices. The app is free and offers a bevy of useful information on visiting the Waitaki District, including turn-by-turn directions to the area’s attractions, lists of B&Bs, motels and other accommodations, cafés and restaurants, and other businesses that make any visit to Waitaki something truly special.

To download the app, go to www.oamaru.me/wta-iphone or search the App Store for “Exploring Waitaki”. Enjoy your visit!

More to Do in Waitaki During Christmas and New Years

In addition to the list that we shared earlier of Waitaki Tourism Association members that will be open during the holidays, there is this list, compiled by the Oamaru i-Site team, of all area businesses’ planned hours during the period between 25 December 2014 and 6 January 2015. As you can see, there is a lot to do in Oamaru, Omarama, Kurow and Palmerston, and places in between, during the break, and they look forward to serving you! (Click on the images to enlarge)Restaurants 1 Restaurants 2 Restaurants 3

Attractions 1Attractions 2

Spend the Holidays in the Waitaki District

Oamaru and the Waitaki District are wonderful destinations for visitors throughout the year, and the lakes of the Waitaki River are especially popular during the summer months, when a lot of New Zealanders make their way there to have a break in view of the Southern Alps and the the beautiful water.

The Waitaki Tourism Association has collated a list of all the openings and closings of member businesses during the holidays, and we share this list with you below. The good news is that there isn’t a single day during the holidays when you will find yourself “high and dry” and unable to find food, drink and something fun to do!

Green means the business is open, red means it’s closed. For other openings and closings during the holidays, check with the Oamaru i-Site, which will be open every day except Christmas Day.

WTA Opening Hours
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Waitaki Cultural Activities Resource

Culture Waitaki

The Waitaki District Council, the local government organisation for our district, has launched a new website that aims to provide a one-stop resource for the myriad cultural activities that Waitaki has going on throughout the year. The site not only offers information about the events, but also has a veritable treasure trove of historic photographs from around the region, making it a real pleasure to peruse the site’s pages. Continue reading

Visiting Penguins in Waitaki

jg-20120320-9250Lots of people who come to New Zealand from overseas are surprised to find out that we have penguins here. Apparently, some people think that you have to go as far away as Antarctica to see these charming birds in the wild, but nothing could be further from the case! The Waitaki District is very fortunate to be among the best places to see two types of penguins, each with a unique distinction. Continue reading