Top 10 Instagrammable spots in the Waitaki

Part of the joy of travelling is sticking your lovely self in front of iconic locales and snapping a shot. I was actually here!” You can say and show your Mum, your friends, and your 90 year old self all the places you traipsed. There will never come a time when you look back, shake your fist to the sky, crying “Alas, there are too many photos of me having fun!”
So, get clicking.


The Waitaki District is a photographer’s dream. It’s the kind of place that easily stands out on any Instagram feed. There are plenty of opportunities here to add a splash of colour, a sweeping vista or two, and an awe-inspiring selfie to your feed. Get your phone out and make sure your tick off every one of our top 10 Instagrammable spots in the Waitaki:

While in Ōmarama the stark and striking landforms of the Paritea Clay Cliffs beckon. There is a 15 minute walk before you find yourself in the heart of the canyon surrounded by sharp pinnacles and steep ravines. The terrain here is not suitable for people with mobility issues.

Part of the Waitaki Whitestone Aspiring Geopark, this Geosite was originally formed as gravels, sands and silt in freshwater lakes and rivers. The sediments, which were deposited around 20 million years ago, were over time buried and compressed, then uplifted and eroded—and now provide a stunning backdrop for your travel photography.

With scenery that looks like it has been ripped from a painting, the DOC Benmore Peninsula hike is a must for snap happy hikers.

It’s an easy 4km loop circuit that takes around an hour and a half to complete. You’ll be rewarded with views that are out of this world (but are definitely still in NZ).

Want to incorporate more of Lake Benmore into your feed? Then take a trip to Sailors Cutting, a popular camping and fishing site, so named for sailors who broke away from ships in the 1800s to work on road building projects. The view across the lake will restore your soul and stop idle scrollers in their tracks.

How to catch all of Oamaru’s old school charm into one photo? Head on up to the lookout and take advantage of breath-taking view. You’ll be able to look over the quaint seaside town and spy plenty of boats studded in the harbour. It’s also a cute spot for a picnic, morning, noon, or dusk!

Admittedly, rocks don’t sound like they’ll up the anti on your feed, but the rocks we’re talking about here are gargantuan natural wonders of weathered limestone. There’s at least one that looks like an elephant, but no one can seem to agree which it is. Perhaps, as you climb and fawn over this must visit spot, you’ll discover a sad whale, a duck’s head, or a sleeping hippo. You may also recognise the area as Aslan’s Camp from the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Standing in the heart of the canyon surrounded by sharp pinnacles and steep ravines you’ll feel a flourish within your souls, awe-struck, and possibly feel quite small.

Nothing says Insta-worthy summer escape more than a field of vivid sunflowers against a clear, blue sky. Always grown between Oamaru and Kakanui, the sunflowers have become an iconic photo destination for locals. The first flower has usually bloomed by New Year’s Day and late January is when you’ll see the petals at their most intense, Van Gogh yellow.

What started as a scattering of pebbles and fossils along an ancient sea floor are now strangely spherical boulders—and one of the most famous landmarks in the Waitaki (and New Zealand)! You don’t want to miss your chance to direct your friends in a dreamy sunrise photoshoot.

Ōamaru boasts the most well preserved Victorian streetscape in New Zealand, all carved from local limestone. The town readily embraces its Victorian heritage, so it’s no surprise to see folks wandering down Harbour and Tyne streets in hoop skirts and top hats. Pack your best parasol and showcase this Dickensian paradise to all your friends!

If you’re a magpie drawn to all that glitters, you’ll want to visit Steampunk HQ, an interactive museum that features retro-futuristic art, engineering, and The Portal—the gateway to other dimensions both real and imagined. It’s the stuff Instagram was made for!

Yes, Instagram can be the pits, but if you travel to Macraes mine near the historic village of Macraes you’ll strike photography gold! The largest active gold mine in New Zealand will astound you with its scale. The monumental open pit reaches well below sea level, so if you accidentally drop your camera over the viewing platform that’s goodbye forever.

We can’t wait to see all your wish you were here snaps! And, don’t forget to use #WaitakiNZ and #dosomethingnewnz and tag us in your posts!

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