Oamaru’s new visitor centre has received a warm welcome, with steady numbers coming through the doors.
The Waitaki and Oamaru Visitor Centre opened two months ago, in the former Oamaru iSite building in Thames St, and incorporates the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark shop.
Tourism Waitaki closed the iSite in June, under a restructure from the Covid-19 crisis.
The new centre provided information and visitor guides, but did not take bookings for operators.
Tourism Waitaki general manager Margaret Munro said the centre had been averaging about 37 visitors a day, in its first 42 days of being open.
“We’ve had steady numbers coming through, and with the school holidays and Victorian Heritage Celebrations,” Mrs Munro said.
Most visitors were in the 60-plus age bracket, and were looking for maps of various areas in the district.
Younger people tended to use technology to find their way, while the older generation preferred to interact in person, and use a paper map, she said.
“Many are coming for the penguins, the precinct area, Moeraki Boulders and Alps 2 Ocean – it’s very popular with that age group.”
While the centre was open Wednesday to Monday at present, it would extend to seven days a week once school holidays began for the summer.
Mrs Munro believed there could be an increase in visitors to the centre, as more New Zealanders were exploring their own country due to border closures.
“We do expect there will be an increase in people travelling the whole of New Zealand and through the campgrounds.