a little bit of history

Waitaki District Past and Present

Oamaru and the Waitaki District have an interesting past. From archaeological treasures and ancient history to the settlement of Europeans and Victorian Heritage, the district is steeped in history.

Source: Waitaki District Archives. Image number 59

Source: Waitaki District Archives. Image number 4276


Source: Waitaki District Archives. Image number 3389

A short history of Oamaru:

European settlement began in 1853 in Oamaru. The Harbour, during the late 19th Century, was vital for Oamaru and its farming hinterland. Grain and wool were housed in often-ornate warehouses built and carved from locally quarried Oamaru limestone. As the rural economy boomed, the Harbour area became a hub for prosperous businesses, banks, hotels and new industries. Today, many of the majestic Oamaru Whitestone buildings comprising the Harbour/Tyne Historic Precinct still stand. They are now home to a collection of curio shops, restaurants, gift stores, a Motoring Museum, a hotel, a fascinating book store, traditional craftsmen, the Oamaru Steam Train and Sunday markets.

Old Post Office 2

To learn more, explore our

culture and heritage

Cover image source: Waitaki District Council Archive. Image number: 723