Coastal North Otago
Thirty minutes south of Oamaru, Hampden is a peaceful seaside town well-known for serving fabulously giant ice-creams and incredible fish 'n' chips - with fresh blue-cod the local favourite.
The giant ice-creams and tasty fish 'n' chips are best enjoyed down at the Hampden Beach. Here you'll also find a great playgrounds for little ones which even has some pseudo-Moeraki Boulders to climb on. New Zealand's only endemic dolphin, the Hector's dolphin, can often been seen here playing in the surf.
There's also a lovely beach-side campground/backpackers/motel with another motel option beside the Hampden Store.
Visitors may also want to stop at Vanessa's Cafe on the main road, the Hampden Tavern or poke their nose into the popular antiques store - a must for serious collectors.
If you need to stretch those legs, take 30 mins or so to walk the Hampden Heritage Trail. This begins outside the community centre near the public toilets and copies of the trail map can be found at Vanessa's Cafe or the Hampden Store. The walking tour is comprised of 16 different historic sites including the war memorial, cemetery and local churches.
What to do in Hampden:
Hampden Beach & Playground
Hampden Heritage Trail