There are tourist hot spots and there are hot tourist spots.
The hot-spots are the ones most people know about and where most tourists will be directed by travel agents.
The hot tourist spots are often less well known and none the less attractive for that. Among these is Oamaru and its hinterland and it’s not just parochial people like me who think so.
In this month’s 25th anniversary issue of Cuisine Amanda Hyde lists 25 of the hippest destinations.
Only two of the hip destinations are in New Zealand - one of those is the Te Araroa Trail, the other is the Waitaki Valley and Oamaru.
Want your holiday to come with spectacular scenery, good food, top wine and cute penguins? Head to New Zealand’s Waitaki Valley.
Oamaru’s beautiful historic stone buildings will transport you back several centuries – complete the illusion with morning tea at Annie’s Victorian Tea Rooms, where you’ll be served leaf tea and homemade cakes by staff dressed in period costume.
Steampunk HQ continues the historic vibe – through art, music, film and machines, it imagines a world where steam power is king.
The region is also home to the renowned Riverstone Kitchen, Fleurs Place and The Loan & Merc, as well as a host of vineyards and, of course, the blue penguin colony. visitoamaru.co.nz
If you want to learn more about the area’s charms, have a look at Oamaru Life. This is the blog written by the owner of Pen-y-bryn Lodge, a five star, category-one historic residence. He has travelled widely and lived in many different exotic locations but is now pleased and proud to call Oamaru home.