Thursday, 10 May 2012

NZ travelogue: Oamaru's historical precinct

The historic precinct was the original commercial district of Oamaru. The old buildings were built from locally quarried limestone, the Oamaru whitestone. Today, the area is recognised as having New Zealand's most complete collection of Queen Victoria-era buildings. When we arrived at the historic precinct in the morning, there was hardly a handful of people on the streets. We were a bit puzzled; eleven o'clock can't be too early, can it? However, the shops were already open.

This was one of more interesting metal sculptures lining Tyne Street, which leads on to Bushy Beach where we had watched the penguins several hours earlier.

This Victorian building is one of many along Tyne Street. Somehow, it reminded me so much of home in George Town, Penang, or maybe I was starting to get a little homesick looking at these buildings.

Awesome-looking vintage car (junk?) on display in the Grainstore Gallery. We entered the building from Tyne Street, walked through its length, and emerged into Harbour Street.

Our next stop was the Harbour Street Market at the Connell & Clowes building. Apart from the vendors, we were the only ones there. We browsed round the stalls and I picked up two second-hand compact discs selling for NZD4 each.

Saw See was bedazzled by the items at the Harbour Street Market but ended up not buying anything. Couldn't make up her mind but actually, they were not very practical.

The Lanes Emulsion building now houses a bakery. We were too full after a hearty breakfast at The Little Farm Homestay and did not try the pork pie here. Heard that it was good. Well, too bad for us...

Only the brave would dare try the unfettered penny farthings at a shop at the other end of Harbour Street. We didn't know about that shop then, so thought that the photo op here was good enough.

And finally, we ended up at the Loan & Merc, a restaurant-cum-pub at the far end of Harbour Street. The establishment occupies the ground floor of the original Loan & Mercantile building, together with some displays of furniture from the Victorian era, while the upper floor of the building features an art gallery.

One last look at the historical precinct before we headed out of Oamaru.

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