A rich history worth exploring

The Waitaki Valley has a range of historical sites where you can learn more about early New Zealand and the development of the area. Take your time to see these spots:

1. Duntroon
Just 25 minutes inland from Oamaru, Duntroon offers a number of famous historical sites, great scenery and other activities. Have a look at Nicol's Blacksmith Shop or visit the Vanished World Heritage Centre & Trail.

2. Kurow Museum
See first-hand how our forefathers coped with life. With photographs and exhibits, the museum tells a story that is unique to the Waitaki Valley. The Waitaki has been a region of great developments in agriculture, hydroelectricity and social reforms - learn about these and more at the Kurow Museum.

3. Waitaki Valley dams
The Waitaki River, which flows through Lake Benmore, Lake Aviemore and Lake Waitaki, is contained by hydroelectric dams: Benmore Dam, Aviemore Dam and Waitaki Dam. Great vantage points and surrounded by camp grounds, the dams are popular with campers, boaties and other outdoor addicts.

4. Maori rock drawings
This historic place is known as the Takiroa Rock Art Site. Protected by metal caging, the rock art represents people, taniwha and more. The earliest-known European records of Maori rock art in New Zealand were made here in 1852, when Walter Mantell drew a number of sketches of the site.

Memorial Oaks
In 1919, 400 oak trees were planted throughout the district as living memorials - one for each brave soul who sacrificed their life for their country during World War 1 and World War 2. Planted in the form of a wheel, with Oamaru as the hub, the trees were planted at one-mile intervals and near the home of the soldier commemorated wherever possible. Keep an eye out for these Memorial Oaks as you drive around the district.