Oh Oamaru! Where do we begin with this precious little town?!
We were fortunate enough to arrive during their Victorian Heritage Weekend celebrating
Queen Victorias 200th Birthday! Everybody was dressed up to the nines in their Victorian fashion, most of which was hand made! We enjoyed going to all the arty shops, watching one man carve stone, and gawping at all the outfits in the Victorian rental shop.
Oamaru is amazing for all it’s home made treasures, from their ice cream at Deja Moo, to their beer at Scott’s Brewery, and of course all the gifts and art you can buy from all the shops. All of which we indulged!
But our favourite part was definitely the festival. On the first day we were there we went to the grand opening at the Opera House, where we got to enjoy a cold beer and some free canapés, before the Mayor announced the start of the weekend. Then in the evening we went to a Gentleman’s Relish, where we got to see burlesque dancers, comedy and magic, whilst being surrounded by the public in their Victorian outfits! The following day we enjoyed Elevenses with Mrs B, a cup of tea, 2 slices of cake and a madeira for $5. Then everyone dressed up joined in in a group photo outside the Opera house and we all got to get plenty of wonderful footage. Later in the day we went to the Public Gardens where we had a game of croquet and then enjoyed a free cup of tea and some scones whilst admiring all the attire. On Saturday there was a parade, with old cars and penny farthings, along with 2 Scottish bands playing the bagpipes and drums. Then the penny farthings and safety bikes came out to compete in slow and fast races along the streets. And lastly before we had to head out, we got to enjoy a Victorian fashion show, showing us all the changes though Queen Victorias reign.
Oamaru also has a huge Steampunk influence, and hosts a Steampunk festival in May, which apparently draws huge international crowds! Maybe one year we will make it back for it. We glanced a bit into the Steampunk world at the Steampunk HQ, enjoying all their machinery and sculptures.. really quite fascinating! Although you kind of expected things to jump out at you at any moment!