Visit Waitaki this Winter


Moeraki Boulders Waitaki

Experience the beauty of Oamaru and Waitaki’s natural geological marvels, historic treasures, and iconic photo ops. Explore the many small towns and settlements, each with its own unique charm and attractions.

Things to do in the Waitaki Region

Skiing and Snowboarding – The Waitaki region is home to two fantastic ski fields, Ohau Snow Fields and Mount Dobson. Both offer excellent opportunities for skiing and snowboarding with beautiful alpine scenery and a range of slopes suitable for different skill levels.

Hot Pools and Spas – After a day of outdoor activities, you can relax and unwind in the hot pools and spas available in the region. Oamaru’s Hot Tubs Omarama and Tekapo Springs are popular options where you can soak in warm waters while enjoying the stunning winter landscapes.

Wildlife Viewing –  Oamaru is famous for its blue penguin colony, and winter is a great time to witness these adorable creatures returning to their nests after a day of fishing. You can join guided tours and observe the penguins as they waddle ashore and make their way to their burrows. Or view New Zealand fur seals/kekeno and yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho from the Bushy Beach Track lookout.

Victorian Precinct in Oamaru – The Victorian Precinct in Oamaru is a beautifully preserved heritage area with stunning architecture from the late 19th century. Stroll through the streets, visit art galleries, boutique shops, and enjoy a warm drink at one of the charming cafes or restaurants.

Moeraki Boulders – Take a trip to Koekohe Beach and marvel at the Moeraki Boulders, large spherical stones scattered along the coastline. These unique geological formations are a must-see and make for an interesting winter photography subject.

Scenic Drives and Winter Landscapes –  The Waitaki region is known for its picturesque landscapes, and a scenic drive during winter can be a breathtaking experience. Explore the stunning alpine vistas, snow-capped mountains, and frozen lakes as you drive through the region.

Wine Tasting in the Waitaki Valley – The Waitaki Valley is renowned for its vineyards and cool-climate wines. Visit the local wineries and cellar doors to sample the region’s distinctive wines and enjoy the scenic surroundings. ·  Explore the Waitaki Lakes: The region is known for its beautiful lakes, including Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, and Lake Ohau. You can enjoy scenic walks, go fishing, take a boat ride, or simply relax and soak in the stunning views.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities – The Waitaki region offers numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and fishing. You can explore the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, hike the Benmore Peninsula Track, or go trout fishing in the Waitaki River.

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is a popular cycling route in New Zealand that stretches from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. The trail covers a distance of approximately 301 kilometers (187 miles) and passes through diverse landscapes, including mountains, lakes, rivers, farmlands, and coastal areas. It is divided into several sections, and cyclists have the option to tackle the entire trail or choose specific sections based on their preferences and time constraints.

The trail starts near the town of Tekapo in the Mackenzie Basin, which is located in the Canterbury region of the South Island. It then continues through various towns and areas, including Twizel, Omarama, Otematata, Kurow, Duntroon, and finally ends at Oamaru on the east coast of the South Island, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Visit Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park –  This national park is home to New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. You can take hikes or guided tours, go glacier exploring, or indulge in stargazing at the Aoraki/Mount Cook Observatory.

Visit Elephant Rocks –  These large limestone formations, located near Duntroon, have a unique shape resembling a herd of elephants. They have also served as a filming location for movies like “The Chronicles of Narnia.” You can wander among the rocks and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

Discover Maori Rock Art – The Waitaki region is home to significant Maori rock art sites. Take a guided tour or visit places like Takiroa Rock Art Shelter to admire ancient Maori rock paintings and gain insights into the region’s cultural history.

Experience Waitaki Whitestone Geopark – This geopark is New Zealand’s first UNESCO Global Geopark and offers a range of geological wonders. Explore limestone landscapes, visit the Vanished World Fossil Centre, and learn about the area’s unique geology and paleontology.

Choose from a unique range of accommodation in this region.

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