Victorian Oamaru

New Zealand's
Best Collection of
Victorian Buildings

Victorian Oamaru's Historic Precinct

The Trust owns sixteen commercial buildings in Harbour and Tyne Streets, in what is locally known as the Historic Precinct. Each of the buildings, built during the Victorian period, has it's own story, character and charm. The Trust acts as landlord to our wonderful tenants, who each make the precinct a truly special destination with their unique businesses and events.


The Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust works to ensure the preservation, enhancement, renovation and appropriate redevelopment of heritage in Victorian Oamaru - in the Historic Precinct, the town of Oamaru and the North Otago countryside, its historic buildings generally, streets, supporting townscape and harbour environment.

We act to preserve, develop and improve buildings and features of general public amenity or historic interest or beauty and to promote high standards in architecture, management, building and resource management planning.

Victorian Fete

The Network Waitaki Victorian Fete is our showstopping signature annual event.

Hosted in the historic precinct, on the third Sunday of November, it's a day jammed packed with non-stop entertainment. 

Ride a Penny Farthing, witness incredible Victorian costumes, jugglers, street performers, magicians and stilt walkers, around every corner. 

Network Waitaki Victorian Fete
Sunday 17 November 2024

The Victorian Wardrobe
Creative Victorian Outfitters

The largest and finest collection of 
Victorian styled clothing for hire
anywhere in New Zealand

To complement the many Victorian themed events held in Victorian Oamaru, visit The Victorian Wardrobe, where replica Victorian costumes and accessories can be hired.

Whitestone City

Whitestone City is a central heritage hub that invites you to explore Oamaru's Victorian past.

Set in an original grain store that was built in 1882, and located within New Zealand’s most complete streetscape of Victorian commercial buildings, it's not a typical museum - at Whitestone City you can touch and try everything - it brings history to life, and is a must-do while in Oamaru.

Become a Member of the OWCT

As a member of the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust you will be part of a group of individuals, companies and organisations who are helping to preserve Oamaru's built heritage by bringing alive and preserving New Zealand’s best complete streetscape of commercial Victorian buildings.

Thomas Forrester (1838 - 1907)

Thomas Forrester designed a great deal of the ornate Victorian architecture in Oamaru.  He also oversaw the construction of the breakwater and wharves of Oamaru Harbour, enabling Oamaru to become an economic powerhouse in the late 19th century.

In partnership with John Lemon, Forrester designed an impressive portfolio of ornately decorated buildings and family homes, contributing more than any other person to the distinctive architecture of Oamaru.   Thomas Forrester brought the architectural and design skills to the partnership and John Lemon supervised construction and saw to the day to day running of the practice.

Thank you to our sponsors


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