The Waitaki region is a place of scenic contrast and haunting natural beauty. Experience mysterious boulders, windswept beaches and Maori rock art.
The Waitaki region combines wild, windswept coastline with emerald plains and towering mountains. The middle of the region's coastline is home to the small town of Moeraki and its huge spherical boulders. Scattered along the beach, the Moeraki boulders are more than 65 million years old and are easily accessed from the beach. Look out for the Hector's dolphins that are often seen playing in the waves beyond. Moeraki is a small and sleepy fishing village meaning 'sleepy sky', or 'a place to rest by day', Moeraki maintains the feel of this old Maori resting place; the village hugs a quiet, golden-crescent beach and fishing boats scatter the bay, providing the area with an abundance of the freshest seafood. Enjoy watching the boats come and go from the famous Fleur's Place restaurant, or head to the Moeraki Lighthouse to spy on yellow eyed penguins.
Oamaru is a gorgeous harbour town centrally located on the South Island’s east coast 3 hours south of Christchurch or 90 minutes north of Dunedin. Visitors can explore museums, shops and galleries within some of New Zealand’s best 19th century architecture. With one of the country’s oldest public gardens, two penguin colonies, four golf courses and many walking and cycling trails there are plenty of opportunities to experience nature at its best. Oamaru has a very proud heritage that is told through the Victorian Precinct and tours at a variety of locations in town. Make sure you spoil yourself with some lovely locally made soap or with a cheese platter at the local cheese factory. a must is also a visit to the crazy Steam-punk m At night you can catch a live show at the Opera House or experience some of the country’s top cuisine at award winning restaurants.
Heading inland, snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes contrast with the bare brown hills that rise up from the valley floor. Stop and see the Earthquakes, an impressive formation of limestone cliffs that are full of ancient fossils. Nearby you’ll find Maori rock drawings made from red ochre, charcoal and animal fat.
Ohau is real New Zealand, a place that includes many holiday homes and is the gateway to Lake Ohau, walking and bike tracks and the Ohau ski field. The ski field provides a wonderful community atmosphere where locals and visitors get to know each other on the hill. The Ohau lodge has spectacular views of the lake and mountains and is a great place to stay and get to know people from New Zealand and all over the world. If you want to get away from it all and relax amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand then Ohau is the place to visit.
Renowned as a gliding and fishing mecca, Omarama's nor'wester blows steady and warm off the Southern Alps to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take an intrepid glider pilot to 10,000 metres. While there make sure you stop at the famous Ladybird Hill. Salmon fishing is a large part of what they are all about. They have their own Salmon farm license, which enables customers to enjoy the thrill of catching a feisty salmon then having it hot smoked within 30 minutes ready to eat. Everything is supplied and you only pay for what you catch.