Victorian Fete in Oamaru’s historic Precinct

This area now known as Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct, was the original commercial and business district of Oamaru. A number of events take place in the precinct. And the Victorian Fete, in November, is a highlight and the grand finale to the annual Victorian Heritage Celebrations.

A trust preserves the buildings of the precinct. Historically the area served as the focal point for trade through the local port. And today the trust owns sixteen Victorian buildings built from 1860s to1880s. The buildings include large grain and seed warehouses that served the prosperous agricultural sector in the district during the later part of the 19th century.

This is New Zealand’s most complete streetscape of Victorian commercial buildings.  The buildings were built of locally quarried limestone.  The easily carved stone lent itself perfectly to the creation of the elaborate Neo Classical style of building so popular with Victorians.

The Victorian Town at Work theme for Victorian Oamaru has seen the recreation of many of crafts and pastimes of the 1800s so it isn’t unusual to see a penny farthing speed by, or a coracle to being paddled in the harbour or a Victorian gentleman to doff his top hat as he passes you on the street.