Capitalising on cool

Lonely Planet has crowned Oamaru the coolest town in New Zealand:

Nothing moves very fast in Oamaru. Tourists saunter, locals linger and penguins waddle. Even oft-celebrated heritage modes of transport – penny farthings and steam trains – reflect an unhurried pace. Most travellers come here for the penguins, but hang around and you’ll sense the wellspring of eccentricity bubbling under the surface. Put simply, this is New Zealand’s coolest town.

“Down by the water, a neighbourhood of once-neglected Victorian buildings now swarms with odd balls, antiquarians and bohemians of all stripes, who run off beat galleries, fascinating shops, hip venues and even an ‘urban winery’ most visible are the Steampunks.”

Lonely Planet is the bible of many tourists, especially the FITs – free, independent travelers.

An endorsement like this is promotion that money couldn’t buy and it is now up to the town and wider Waitaki District to capitalize on the opportunity it presents.

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