Come discover our ordinary, we’ve be told that
it’s actually pretty extraordinary!

The Waitaki regroups many small towns with each their own charm and character. Exploring these towns is like exploring the lives of the people who live there.

The first people to live in the area hundreds of years ago were Maori who used the Waitaki river as a highway to move up and down the valley, more recently people came from Europe to settle the area and found there were naturally no trees but an abundance of a creamy white limestone that could be easily carved into the ornate buildings that reflected their heritage.


Come discover the stories of the people who were shaped by the land they built from – all across the Waitaki you will see the remnants
of our ancient and our more recent past and feel the energy of the communities which live here now, which embodies our hope for the future, just like those who have gone before us.


Located between Oamarama and Otematata, the Benmore Area offers great walking and biking tracks and stunning views all year round.

Dunback & Macraes

Originally, the Dunback and Macraes area was settled in the 1850s by farmers and then later by miners
following the discovery of gold in the 1860s.


Just 35 minutes from Oamaru, Duntroon and the surrounding area is home to a mixture of natural, historical and cultural attractions that are unlike anything else.


Hampden is a peaceful seaside town well-known for its giant ice-creams and incredible fish ‘n’ chips – the blue-cod is a local favourite.

Herbert & Waianakarua

Herbert is a small village surrounded by forest walks and mountain biking trails.


Kakanui is a charming ocean-side village that is as tranquil as it is beautiful. The main beach, Campbell’s Bay, is a safe for
swimming but also has a good break for surfers.


Explore New Zealand’s newest wine region with three cellar doors all within a few minutes of each other. With the braided Waitaki River running past Kurow, there are beautiful wetlands to explore.

Lake Ohau

Nestled into the feet of the majestic Southern Alps, Lake Oahu is a feed from the crystal-clear waters 
of the Hopkins and Dobson Rivers.


Maheno is known for its historic flour mill, Clark’s Mill, and another Heritage New Zealand site, Totara Estate.


Moeraki is a tranquil fishing village which was once used as a whaling station by early Europeans
and is now home to a world-renowned restaurant, Fleur’s Place.


The quiet village of Ngapara was once a bustling agricultural centre in the Waitaki, with grain being grown to feed
the local flourmill, which still stands in the town.


Oamaru is the largest town in the Waitaki District; most famous for its penguin colony and limestone architecture of the Victorian Precinct – but that’s just the beginning of what the town has to offer.


Omarama is the intersection between Queenstown and Wanaka to the South, Twizel and Aoraki Mt Cook to the North
and the Waitaki to the East, Omarama is a perfect base for exploring the area.


Otematata is a summer-holiday hotspot and is humming with campers, cyclists and other nature lovers during the camping season.


Palmerston is surrounded by incredible views of valleys, hills, mountains and an unspoiled coastline.