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Omarama "Place of Light" is 40 minutes south from Route 8 after leaving Mount Cook. Next stop can be the salmon farm along the way. Pull into Twizal and have a look next. A community built as the village for all the workers on the Waitaki Hydro dams and is now a thriving up-market community and a pleasant place for tourists to visit.
Just before Omarama is a turnoff to a new DOC camp on the Quaiburn Road if you want to have a good look at the real country about and a historic wool shed plus a place called the Clay Cliffs and the winery there. Visit for a night and enjoy the solitude.
Omarama is home to world-class gliding and pilots flock here in the southern summer to fly. If you would like to take a scenic glider flight, this company offer them from the airfield: Glide Omarama.
Omarama is a small town close to the Ahuriri River known as one of the top ten trout streams in the world.
In Omarama is the Totara Peak Gallery that has a museum of costumes and memorabilia from the tv show Xena, New Zealand lady warrior, plus a lot of fantastic items to browse through owned and run by Sally and Tony Fodie. Good place to stop and see and
have a chat about the area and ask them how Xena stuff got here. If you want any old books from New Zealand this is the place to stop and browse.
Next cruise on back toward the East Coast via Route 83 ending up at Route 1 in about 2 hours drive just north of Oamaru.
Along route 83 one will pass a series of three hydro lakes (these three lakes provide over one-third of the country's electricity) on the left all excellent trout fishing. The Lake Benmore Motor Camp is a good stay. Each campsite has its own personal toilet block at the sight. Lots of freedom camping spots all along here.
The major town you pass through is Kurow. Keep an eye out for the fabulous Oamaru stone buildings here. The most interesting place is next the settlement of Duntroon. Highly recommend a stop to visit the Vanishing World Museum. This area geologically has produced some spectacular fossils such as the shark-toothed dolphin and a whale plus a lot more. In addition there is Nicol's Blacksmith shop with a working 19th century forge and, of course, the Flying Pig Cafe!
Just before and after the town of Duntroon also is the area along the road where remnants of early Maori charcoal rock drawings can be seen. More information at the Museum. Just past Duntroon for one of the best holiday camps in the country take the Livingston-Duntroon Road south toward Dansey's Pass. It is the Dansey's Pass Holiday Park 15km outset along the Maerewhenua River. As they say " a true Kiwi Camp which has been in existence since 1955". When you see the pool in the river you will wish you were a kid again.