I headed north this morning to explore some of the old "Victorian" precinct in Oamaru where many of the buildings have been restored. With sunshine and blue skies, it was the perfect morning for it. Luckily I parked not far from the Tourist Office, right on the edge of the area I wanted to see, and the kind woman in there soon had me equipped with a map.
There were some very impressive large buildings.
My own bank looked wonderfully imposing, but had no ATM machine, for reasons of historical authenticity I am sure. (I had to ask at the Tourist Office where to find an ATM.)
The building I found most exciting was the Athenaeum as I clearly remembered it was a place that excited a young Janet Frame.
I was excited to see a sign for the completion of the Alps to Sea cycle route, as I had seen the very start of it in Mt Cook.
The playground nearby must be the most imaginative one I have ever seen. Here for example are the swings.
There were all sorts of shops in the restored area. There was a sculptor who makes art works from blocks of Oamaru stone.
Once I'd had a hot chocolate, at a very friendly cafe on a corner near the Information Centre, I drove off to see St Patrick's Basilica.
Then I found Janet Frame's childhood house.
By then it was 12.30 and I was ready to take the coastal road south. But you could see the sea mist just rolling in...
Oamaru was beautiful in so many ways. Don't leave it out! More photos will come on Flickr when I am home.