Oamaru the largest town in North Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand, is the main town in the Waitaki District. It is 80 kilometres south of Timaru and 120 kilometres north of Dunedin, on the Pacific coast, and State Highway 1 and the railway Main South Line connect it to both.Oamaru is the 27th largest urban area in New Zealand, and the second largest in Otago behind Dunedin.
There are some important archaeological sites around Oamaru. Those at the Waitaki River mouth and at Awamoa both date from the Archaic (Moa-hunter) phase of Māori culture, when New Zealand's human population clustered along the south-east coast from about AD 1100.
By the early 21st century, "heritage" had become a conspicuous industry and today, the number of buildings owned by the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust had grown from the original eight to 17.Oamaru contains over 70 buildings registered as Category 1 or 2 Historic Places in the New Zealand Historic Places Trust register.
Points of interest :
Many public buildings use as their construction material the local limestone (quarried especially near Weston) and known as Oamaru stone. The Victorian precinct in southern part of Oamaru's main commercial district ranks as one of New Zealand's most impressive streetscapes due to the many prominent 19th century buildings constructed from this material.
Several key historic buildings in the area centered around Harbour Street and the lower Thames Street, Itchen Street and Tyne Street have been preserved the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust as part of a historic precinct. The great palladian St Patrick's Basilica is also a fine example in white Oamaru stone.