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Oamaru Winds Back The Clock To Victorian Times

Oamaru Winds Back The Clock To Victorian Times

Each year The Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations attract hundreds of visitors from around New Zealand and overseas and this year’s festivities – due to kick off on 14 November - are expected to be the biggest yet.

“The event has really grown and gone from strength to strength since our first celebration in the late 1980s,” says event coordinator Wendy Ryder. “This year’s theme, ‘The Empire’, should encourage even more of the public to get involved once they realise they are part of the British Empire history that we celebrate.”

Oamaru boasts a unique collection of historic buildings. Most of these were designed in a neo-classical style and utilised local limestone.

“Oamaru is proud to be home to the largest intact Victorian streetscapes in New Zealand and the only authentic Victorian/Edwardian harbour left in Australasia. The New Zealand Government has even gone as far as identifying Oamaru as a possibility for becoming a World Heritage Site, so our history is truly something worth celebrating.”

Wendy Ryder says the Heritage Celebration is the culmination of months of hard work by members of the community and the event sponsors.

“We have a dedicated team that works together to ensure the Heritage Celebrations continue to be enjoyed each November. It is an event that the whole community gets behind and it would not happen without them or the support of our sponsors.

“Meridian Energy has been the principal sponsor of the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations since 2000. Its generous contributions have allowed the celebrations to develop into the huge draw card they are today.”

Mel Seyfort, Sponsorship Manager for Meridian Energy, says they are thrilled to support such an important event to the people of Oamaru.

“The Oamaru Heritage celebrations are always a highlight on the North Otago calendar so we are proud to be associated with an event that continues to grow in popularity each year.

“This year we are doing a special offer to all Meridian customers in the lower South Island to help raise the already high profile of the event. We are sending our customers plenty of information about the celebrations and giving them a chance to win a night's accommodation, dinner and breakfast at a luxurious Victorian villa in Oamaru.”

Wendy Ryder says the 2007 celebrations offer a wide range of activities where there is something for everyone to enjoy.

“Visitors and locals can stand back and watch a spectacle like the Grand Victorian Street Parade or go to one of the many performances we have on offer. There will also be horse and carriage rides available to take people back in time and around town.

“We have something for the whole family to enjoy, from walking tours to a living history play that transforms Oamaru’s world-renowned Victorian buildings into a place of magic. The annual Penny Farthing tour is also a must see.”

The first event of the Heritage Celebrations is the Heritage Golf Classic on 14 November.

For a full programme of events please visit


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