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Tourism Waitaki Press Releases



23 May 2017 

Whitestone City open

Whitestone City was opened on Sunday 21 May, by Waitaki MP, Jacqui Dean and Waitaki District Mayor, Gary Kircher. The community open day that followed was well received with, 1085 people going through the heritage experience in four hours.

The penny farthing carousel, and Criterion Hotel architect’s projection were among visitors highlights, as well as the interactive nature of the experience...(read more)



 18 May 2017

Whitestone City set to open Monday 22 May

Whitestone City, the joint heritage experience, between Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust and Tourism Waitaki will open Monday 22 May. With the public invited to an open day to see the new attraction Sunday 21 May.

The tourist attraction was created to be a hands-on and interactive experience, where visitors will be encouraged to be a part of the displays...(read more)



 16 May 2017

Guest nights down nationally and in the Waitaki

Statistics New Zealand recently released the March 2017 Commercial Accommodation Monitor, which showed a drop in domestic guest nights, and international visitors overtaking domestic visitors as the largest share of the market for the month.

Nationally, guest nights were down 3%, comparing March 2017 with March 2016. Statistics New Zealand reported that the timing of Easter...(read more)



 3 May 2017

Latest accommodation results show continued annual growth for the Waitaki

Recently released data from Statistics New Zealand showed a fall in guest nights in the Waitaki during February 2017. After consistently strong month-on-month growth in 2016...(read more)



5 April 2017

New meetings for District Tourism Strategy

The second round of District Tourism Strategy meetings will be held around the District during April 2017...(read more)



 21 March 2017

New event coordinator for Tourism Waitaki

Tourism Waitaki welcome new event coordinator this week, former Oamaru Farmers Market Manager, Lucianne White.

Mrs White brings a wealth of experience to the role...(read more)



 21 March 2017

Year-end rise in bed nights for the Waitaki

Recently released figures from Statistics New Zealand show mixed accommodation results for the Waitaki, with a 13% drop in guest nights spent in the District when comparing December 2016 with December 2015, but a 7% rise across the year ending...(read more)



 7 March 2017

New meetings for District Tourism Strategy

Promoting off and shoulder season, transforming the District from a stop-over to a destination, and accommodation were key points from the District Tourism Strategy meetings held last year.

Other points that came out of the meetings last year focused on developing existing strengths in towns around the District as well as increasing the profile of the District, and lengthening the time...(read more)



 7 March 2017

Forrester Laneway Long Lunch with Bevan Smith and Sally Ann Donnelly

A three-hour feast, created by Bevan Smith and hosted by Sally Ann Donnelly, along with their teams from Riverstone Kitchen and the Loan & Merc, will be served from midday, on a long table running down Harbour Street...(read more)



 7 March 2017

Harbour St Project progressing

The Harbour Street Project, a joint development between Tourism Waitaki Limited, the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust, and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, is moving closer to completion...(read more)



 22 February 2017

Steady growth for the Waitaki

Recently released accommodation statistics show that the rise in guest nights for the Waitaki were 6% higher than the national rise...(read more)



17 February 2017

Harbour Street Project wrapping up soon

The interactive heritage experience being developed in the Victorian Precinct of Oamaru is in the final stages of work and is expected to be open in April 2017. The experience aims to transport guests back in time, making every day perfect for dusting off the three-piece suit and top hat, and where ladies ankles weren’t seen...(read more)



 15 February 2017

Help for endangered Yellow Eyed Penguins

The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony and the Department of Conservation have extended their long-standing working relationship to include a predator trapping and wildlife advocacy program in the Bushy Beach Scenic Reserve to help a small colony of endangered Yellow Eyed Penguins...(read more)



 8 February 2017

Tourism Waitaki concerned for visitor’s safety on breakwater

There have recently been large numbers of people standing on the breakwater in Oamaru’s harbour, to watch little blue penguins come back from sea in the evening. Tourism Waitaki has no jurisdiction over who can use the breakwater or when, but is concerned for the wellbeing and safety of both people using the area, particularly in low-light conditions, and the welfare of penguins who are being increasingly subjected to behaviour which...(read more)



 1 February 2017

Great season for Oamaru’s penguins and their scientist

Oamaru’s little blue penguins have had a record-breaking season under the watchful care of one of New Zealand’s leading penguin scientists, Dr Philippa Agnew, and her team at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. Many penguin chicks are heavier than usual, one chick weighing 69% more than normal...(read more)



 24 January 2017

Chinese New Year celebration for Oamaru

Oamaru’s Chinese New Year celebration will be held Friday 10 February 2017, in the playground area at Friendly Bay in Oamaru Harbour from 5.30pm to 10.30pm. The family friendly event for both visitors and locals will include international food stalls...(read more)



2017 Show 4th and 5th February

Join us for this special show, which celebrates 150 years since the first show was held in Palmerston in 1867...(read more)



 16 December 2016

Midge Marsden Band headline for Harbour Street Jazz & Blues Festival

The Midge Marsden Band will be the headline act for next years’ Harbour Street Jazz & Blues Festival, running over Otago Anniversary weekend from 17 - 19 March 2017 in Oamaru.

The Midge Marsden Band, along with opening act...(read more)



 15 December 2016

Little Blues are hatching

Oamaru’s little blue penguins haven’t taken any notice of their new-found stardom and are happily getting on with life. So far 295 eggs have been laid...(read more)



 15 December 2016

NZ’s first staged ultra run

New Zealand’s first staged ultra run, the Back Country Cuisine Alps 2 Ocean Ultra, will happen from 23 February to 3 March 2018 on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail...(read more)



 28 November 2016 

New Guardian for Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail 

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon have recently taken on the guardianship of the first section on the alternative start point on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Beginning at Lake Tekapo the track will take cyclists past one of Mt Cook Alpine Salmon's farms to their famous shop...(read more)



 23 November 2016

NZ Silver Fern Rally stopping in Oamaru

Oamaru will host the NZ Silver Fern Rally overnight on Monday 28 November 2016. Cars are due to arrive between 4.30 and 8.00pm, going straight to their service area located in the Historic Precinct carpark on the Corner of Tyne and Wansbeck Streets...(read more)



 18 November 2016

Positive accommodation results for the Waitaki

The recently released accommodation survey for September 2016 from Statistics New Zealand, reported a continuing increase in guest nights...(read more)



 16 November 2016

Local penguins become internet stars

A video of Oamaru’s little blue penguins using the recently installed underpass, which takes the penguins safely from the harbour, under Waterfront Road to just outside the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, has been shared on Facebook over 3,000 times, viewed...(read more)



 16 November 2016

Public District Tourism Strategy meetings to be held

Tourism Waitaki will be holding a series of meetings next week in Kurow, Palmerston and Oamaru to give the community an opportunity to be involved in discussions regarding the District’s tourism strategy... (read more)



 16 November 2016

Heritage Week is here

Want to be part of Victorian Heritage Celebration Week? There are still tickets available to some of the great shows on offer. Heritage Week starts this Wednesday 16 November and runs through till Sunday 20 November, offering five days of hoop skirts, top hats and... (read more)



4 November 2016

Penguin statue on the move

The large penguin statue that had been located outside of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony moved to its’ new home yesterday, on the corner of Waterfront Road and Marine Parade, as part of the upgrade work to the attraction...(read more)



  1 November 

Victorian Heritage Celebration Week almost here

Victorian Heritage Celebrating Week, running from Wednesday 16 – Sunday 20 November 2016, celebrates all things Victoriana. Bring out the hoop skirts and top hats, it’s time to look dapper in your three-piece suit and experience five days full of entertainment, fun and... (read more)



 13 October 2016

New website shows off Waitaki District

The recently launched new website from Tourism Waitaki aims to provide an easier to use experience, a place where tourists can shape their itineraries, and to give tourism operators greater opportunity to show their businesses to potential visitors... (read more)



 13 October 2016

Guest nights still rising for the Waitaki

Another period of growth for the Waitaki District was recorded in the latest accommodation statistics that were released this week from Statistics New Zealand. Comparing August 2016 with August 2015 there was a 7% rise... (read more)



 3 October 2016

First East Otago Field Days shaping up to be a success

The inaugural Field Days event, to be held on 12-13 October, is an Agricultural and Equestrian Business Field Days and is building on the increased interest and growth in the agricultural sector and the Palmerston and Waihemo A&P show ...(read more)



 16 September 2016

Positive growth in tourism sector across Waitaki District

Tourist numbers are higher, people are staying in the District longer, higher numbers of international visitors are making their way to the District and the Blue Penguin Colony just recorded its busiest winter season...(read more)



16 September 2016

Work on blue penguin crossing started

Work to install an underpass beneath Waterfront Road began this week in an effort to make it safer for Blue Penguins to cross back and forth between Oamaru’s Blue Penguin Colony and the Harbour...(read more)



16 September 2016

Waitaki District promoted as a convention destination

An annual exhibition bringing together professional event managers and conference organisers was attended by Oamaru Convention Bureau, to promote Waitaki District as a convention destination...(read more)



16 September 2016

Exciting growth at Oamaru’s Blue Penguin Colony

A 22% increase during June, July and August make it the busiest winter season ever for Oamaru’s Blue Penguin Colony. A big increase was also recorded in international visitors, and the building work to upgrade the facility is almost...(read more)



2 September 2016

Harbour Street set to come alive

Work on the Harbour Street Project that will bring Oamaru’s Victorian past to life, is well underway and is due to open mid-November. The joint project between Tourism Waitaki and the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust will see an area of Harbour Street in Oamaru’s Victorian precinct transformed back to... (read more)



 2 September 2016

International guest nights up dramatically for the Waitaki

Positive results for the Waitaki District with Statistics New Zealand reporting international guest nights across the District were up by over 50% in June 2016 over the same period last year.

The number of nights visitors stayed in the District increased overall by almost 24%, with a total of 16,279 guest nights... (read more)



2 September 2016

New signs for Alps 2 Ocean

New distance markers have been installed on the Duntroon to Oamaru section of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail by guardians Whitestone Cheese.

Whitestone Cheese, who have been guardians of section 8 since August 2015, wanted to help cyclists better navigate the trail. The new signs list landmarks in the area like Elephant Rocks and Island Cliffs, while giving distances... (read more)



2 September 2016

New staff at Tourism Waitaki excited to be part of promoting our District

Exciting times ahead as Tourism Waitaki welcomes four new staff members tasked with building visitor numbers and encouraging them to stay longer in the district... (read more)