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Experience the magic of the Ōamaru Heritage Celebrations, where the town brings the Victorian era back to life in all its splendour.

Hundreds of visitors, many in Victorian costumes, flock to enjoy a variety of events set against the backdrop of the town's beautifully preserved Victorian Precinct and impressive limestone buildings.

There'll be plenty to see and do, whether you enjoy dressing up or not.

You can show off your Victorian outfits while sipping tea at the Café Promenade or basking in the elegance of the Garden Party. Explore heritage sites, join guided walks, and attend a variety of fascinating talks and exhibitions.

Plus, you can watch or even take part in the Victorian Fashion Show, cheer on penny-farthing racers, enjoy impromptu street performers and singalongs, and so much more.

And don't miss the spectacular Grand Street Parade! It's a visual feast perfect for capturing unique photos.

For nighttime amusement, we have social dances and other fun evening events that go on into the late hours.


Keep an eye out for events centered around this year's theme of 'Growing for Gold, which celebrates Ōamaru's prosperity fueled by gold.

So, escape the 21st Century for a few days and enjoy an unforgettable Victorian-inspired weekend celebration, unlike anything else in New Zealand!

This year's theme: Growing for Gold

In the 19th century, as a gateway to the Otago goldfields, Ōamaru grew as a supply town for miners seeking ‘that gleam of gold' that supported the Gold Standard tied to the British currency.

Golden limestone was extracted from the ground and used to build imposing banks that converted gold ore into currency for commerce worldwide.

Beyond mining, other industries emerged to support the growing population and economy. Farmers grew the golden grain that breweries made into liquid gold - beer and whisky.

The economy thrived on the export of wool and frozen meat to overseas markets, further enhancing the town's golden prosperity.


Times may have changed, but that ‘gold’ is still seen in the magnificent buildings in Ōamaru such as the schools, churches, and government offices, as well as the businesses and people that make Ōamaru so iconic.


Golden Bar Mine, 1903, photographer unknown.  From file copyprint 83.1543, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hakena

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Events Programme

We're currently developing our 2024 programme! It will be posted right here on our website as soon as it's ready. So, check back in July/August for updates!

Photo Galleries

Take a look at the photo galleries showcasing heritage weekends from the past.

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The Victorian Wardrobe

Want to get dressed up but have no costume?

No problem – hire a Victorian costume from the talented seamstresses at the Victorian Wardrobe.

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Thanks to our partners for making the 2023 event a success

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