Monday, 19 November 2012

Exploring Oamaru (Day 3)

After spending hours of sleep in the car last night, Yen and I woke up early in the morning and planned to explore the places in Oamaru.

Oamaru CBD

This city was quiet indeed and I didn’t see many passengers in the downtown, although it’s the largest town in the region of North Otago. Both of us knew that penguin sightseeing was the core reason we came here, we would like to see if there’re any other attractions in this place though. What I found eye-catching was the magnificent architecture around the heritage premises.

Bank of New South Wales & The National Bank(left)

North Otago Museum

Restaurant & bakery shops

Catholic Church

We paid a visit to the local museum, church and the historical Public Gardens before we grabbed the chance to watch penguins. It's the best time to visit the Public Gardens during autumn as the combination of plants in yellow to brown made it a beautiful environment for a nature walk. To visit this garden, either enters through Severn Street or Chelmer Street.

 Our friend reminded us not to miss the free penguin viewing from nature and she also told us to get more information from the I-site about the location and appropriate times to watch those lovely penguins. At first, I drove to Bushy Beach Road and we had the attempt during night time. Both of us tried our luck waiting for penguins to come while walking along the track quietly up to the hill, but we didn't see any single one :(

Being disappointed, we’re going to walk down and leave. Well, I sensed something on my left at the moment while walking down the track. Then, I turned my head and looked. Oh my god! There’re 2 huge penguins standing pretty close to me and they’re Yellow-eyed Penguins! I quickly whispered to my friend about their presence. We’re extremely excited to catch their pictures. Afterward, we tried in vain to see more penguins at the spot but nothing more, at least we got to see penguins as we wished.

 Yellow-eyed Penguins

We didn't give up so soon, so we went to the harbour. What we saw was another kind of penguin – Blue Penguin. So far we only saw one little Blue Penguin. It's smaller than Yellow-eyed Penguin and very adorable.
Blue Penguin

Still the same little one

The second night in Oamaru, we checked in the Empire Hotel Backpackers where our friend stayed. I highly recommend this hostel to you as this was one of the best hostels I had ever stayed in New Zealand. It’s located at the main street in Oamaru and the accommodation was inexpensive but with quality. I especially felt warm and comfortable to spend the night in the hostel, after the previous night that we slept in the car :P

Front view of Empire Hotel Backpackers

Empire Hotel Backpackers

Tel: (04) 434 3446

Add: 13 Thames Street Oamaru 9495 NZ