July 5, 2021

Waitaki-Hakataramea-Oamaru Package

The area just inland from Oamaru along the Waitaki River is becoming more and more known for its stunning landscapes, delectable wines and the authenticity of the experience you can enjoy in this quintessential South Island heartland. The travel section of the Otago Daily Times recently featured some of the a...

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June 3, 2021

Winter Warmer: Stay 3/Pay 2

Wintertime is a magical time in Oamaru and the Waitaki--with clear skies, crisp air and the prospect of enjoying the magic of the Milky Way overhead each evening, this is an ideal time to enjoy one of New Zealand's most beautiful and popular destinations! To make a winter getaway to this corner of paradise ...

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April 12, 2021

Oamaru Weather

One thing that we have observed in the 11 years we have spent living in Oamaru is that people, especially visitors from the North Island, often expect our weather to be much worse than it actually is. Yes, Oamaru is in the southern half of the South Island of New Zealand, and is one of the world's most southe...

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April 6, 2021

Welcome Aussies!

After too long an absence, we are genuinely excited to be able to look forward to being able to welcome our Australian neighbours back to New Zealand from 19 April! If you are in Australia and have been pining for a bit of a trip beyond your own borders, we are here and ready to help you explore our beautiful...

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March 17, 2021

As Seen on Lap of Luxury

Last night's episode of Lap of Luxury featured Pen-y-bryn Lodge, along with two other luxury properties--Poronui Lodge near Taupo and Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania. We were thrilled to be able to share the lodge with so many people, and it seems that it generated a lot of interest, so much so in fact that our...

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March 13, 2021

Introducing our Telescope

The arrival of autumn means the return of prime astronomy season in New Zealand. Not only does nightfall come at a more sociable hour, but the climactic conditions mean clear skies predominate and there is less distortion from air currents. Also, the galactic core is once again visible, making for a spectacul...

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March 4, 2021

Regional Guide Updated

Today we have uploaded an update to our popular guide to Oamaru and the Waitaki District. This update contains a number of new and updated listings, and is newly designed to make it easier to read and to facilitate getting to the information you need. You can download your copy for free by becoming a "Friend ...

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February 26, 2021

The Waitaki in Cuisine Magazine

In late 2020 we were thrilled to host Kelli Brett, editor of New Zealand's premium culinary and travel magazine, Cuisine, for a three-night stay while she explored the gastronomic delights of Oamaru and the Waitaki District. The resulting article--a full nine pages long--appears in the March/April 2021 issue ...

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January 10, 2021

Our Granola Recipe

Here is the second of our recipe posts, and it's another one that we get asked for a lot, our breakfast granola. Granola is one of the cereal-type items that we always have on offer on our breakfast table, and it's a perennial favourite. The recipe is an amalgam of several recipes that we tried over the yea...

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January 4, 2021

Dried Fruit Compote

One of the reasons for our giving up our "real" jobs to take over Pen-y-bryn Lodge in 2010 was to allow us to pursue our passions. For James B, that meant being able to spend his days gardening and taking care of and renovating the house, but for James G it meant indulging an interest in cooking (as well as ...

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December 14, 2020

Gift Vouchers

Vouchers can be customised however you'd like Everyone has at least one of them--that friend, relative or even spouse who is impossible to buy a gift for, especially for those special occasions like significant birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, and more. Something that they will surely appreciate is a ...

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November 18, 2020

Summer at Pen-y-bryn

As we celebrate more than 10 years as the custodians of Pen-y-bryn Lodge in this most unusual summer for all of us, we look forward to welcoming more Kiwis to spend summer holidays with us. Pen-y-bryn has never looked better, with all our guest rooms and public rooms recently renovated and the gardens at...

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November 11, 2020

Review of Pen-y-bryn in the NZ Herald

Maggie Wicks, deputy travel editor of the NZ Herald, recently paid us a visit as part of a general tour of Ōamaru and the Waitaki. Yesterday, the paper published her review of a gourmet stay in Ōamaru, and we thought it was worth sharing:

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August 25, 2020

Welcome Spring in Oamaru!

Cherry blossoms blooming in the garden Spring in the Southern Hemisphere is just days away, and already daffodils and other spring flowers have begun to bloom around our gardens. This is a delightful time to travel around the South Island in general, and Oamaru in particular, with gardens full of colour, ...

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June 22, 2020

Special Deals for Winter 2020

Snow is not guaranteed--in ten years we've seen it snow here just once! As New Zealand and the world continue to do battle with Covid-19, we want to do what we can to make it easier for Kiwis to travel around the country while international travel remains off the cards. So, we have a few promotions that w...

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May 21, 2020

Name Your Price for Kiwi Travellers Now that New Zealand is in Level-2 lockdown, and travel is once again possible around the country, we want to do something to make it possible for more New Zealanders to spend some time in a part of their country's heritag...

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March 15, 2020


The novel coronavirus now known as Covid-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to international travel, with flights in and out of China suspended for several weeks, and now the announcement that New Zealand will impose a mandatory 14-day self-isolation regime for virtually all arrivals into the country. ...

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January 31, 2020

Booking your stay with us

Many guests ask us what is the best option for making a booking to stay with us at Pen-y-bryn, so we thought we would post here to offer some guidance. Of course, our preference is for you to book with us directly through our booking site or by phoning us. That way we can be sure to have a means of ta...

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January 17, 2020

Oamaru–the world’s next spaceport?

Today the Waitaki District Council signed a memorandum of understanding with Dawn Aerospace to establish Oamaru as the base for testing and ultimately flying a novel unmanned rocket-propelled space plane. Under the MOU, flights could begin as early as later in 2020, opening up a new chapter not only in Oamar...

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November 10, 2019

Renovations in two guest rooms

As we continue our work to maintain and upgrade the facilities in our 130-year old lodge, we will endeavour to keep our guests and friends up-to-date on any interesting developments. Our latest work has involved upgrading the en-suites for the two rooms in the main lodge building, known as the Elizabeth and ...

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November 3, 2019

Beehive Update

You may recall that we installed our Flow Hive beehive in a corner of our gardens in 2016, with our first harvest of delicious all-natural honey in the autumn of 2017. Then we added an additional frame to allow us to harvest comb honey, which we first harvested in spring/summer 2017-18. Unfortunately, ou...

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August 31, 2019

Say hello to our new-look dining and drawing rooms!

The new look of our dining room We are very pleased to share with you the new looks of the two public rooms where our guests spend the most time--the Drawing Room and the Dining Room. These two rooms have been completely renovated from the top to the bottom, with newly painted ceilings, new wallpaper, new...

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August 23, 2019

Important Info for Overseas Visitors to NZ from 1 October 2019

The New Zealand government has announced that, from 1 October 2019, all visitors to New Zealand from overseas (with the exception of Australian citizens) who do not require a visa will require a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before they will be permitted to board their incoming flight or cr...

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June 2, 2019

Kia Ora Magazine

As a small lodge with no advertising or PR budget, we do not often see ourselves appear in the major travel publications. So it's especially thrilling for us that the "Where to Stay" feature in this month's Kia Ora magazine, Air New Zealand's inflight magazine, is all about us! If you would like to see f...

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May 20, 2019

See History in Motion at Clark’s Mill

Just a few minutes' drive from Pen-y-bryn is one of the most unusual parts of New Zealand's history. Clark's Mill was built in 1866 as one of the area's many flour mills, and continued to operate as a commercial mill until as recently as 1976. Since closing, it has been maintained and lovingly restored b...

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December 13, 2018

Gingerbread House 2018

We are pleased to announce that the gingerbread house for 2018 has been revealed! Our model this year was the stunning Château de Chenonceau, one of the most magnificent of the many chateaux that we visited during our time in France this past July. For those who are not familiar with this tradition of ours, s...

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September 4, 2018

We’ve become New Zealand Citizens–and we’re sharing our good fortune with you!

On 3 September we were sworn in as new New Zealand citizens, a process that took just over eight years from the date of our arrival in the country to complete. To celebrate, we are offering our guests a special gift--20% off our standard room rate for the next three months! And just like there is no looking b...

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August 27, 2017

Stargazing Special 3-Night Package

We are very excited to offer a special package in conjunction with our friends at SkyScape Sky Beds in the nearby Mackenzie Country. Combine a stay at Pen-y-bryn with a one-night stay under the stars in your own private luxury accommodation at SkyScape for a chance to see the night sky in all its glory. Sky...

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June 1, 2017

Winter Closing 2017

Please note that Pen-y-bryn Lodge will be closed for the winter from 15 June to 7 August 2017. For booking enquiries for the 2017-18 season, please contact us by email or leave a message by ringing our main number, +64 3 434 7939.

April 28, 2017

Pen-y-bryn’s Book Now Available!

Just about a year ago, James and I began to contemplate putting together a book to fill a gap that we perceived existed in the Oamaru marketplace. Despite the fact that Oamaru is easily one of the most beautiful towns in New Zealand, and that the surrounding countryside offers some of the country's most pictu...

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March 26, 2017

Pen-y-bryn Honey

For the past seven years, when explaining to guests what we have on offer at breakfast I always say "we make everything here", and make an exception for the honey, which we would purchase from local beekeepers. Well, that's a thing of the past now, since as of this week we now have our own honey to put on the...

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November 20, 2016

Kaikoura Earthquake

Our hearts go out to all those who were affected by the 14 November earthquake in the area of Kaikoura. The earthquake, which hit in the early hours of the morning, resulted in two fatalities and significant changes to the landscape of that corner of the South Island, and it will be some time before all is ba...

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September 15, 2016

Pen-y-bryn Lodge Featured on TVNZ

The host of TVNZ's popular Kiwi Living programme, Miriama Kamo, recently paid a visit to us at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, and the resulting segment appeared this week on the show. Kiwi Living features several segments each week, from cooking with famed Kiwi chef Michael van de Elzen, to household DIY projects and gard...

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August 15, 2016

Celebrate Truffles and Springtime with Us!

[caption id="attachment_1268" align="alignleft" width="225"] NZ Black Truffles[/caption] Few people know that New Zealand produces excellent black truffles (tuber melanosporum), the equal of their famous siblings from Europe. To help celebrate the current season, we are hosting a special dinner on 17 Septemb...

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May 4, 2016

Special Offer for the Cooler Months

Oamaru and the Waitaki District are great to visit during the cooler months of the year. Not only is the weather during the autumn and winter far more reliably clear than during the summer, but the attractions that have made our area one of New Zealand's fastest-growing for tourism are even more accessible du...

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January 7, 2016

Smartphone App Ready for Download

There is a great deal to see and do in the Oamaru area, and quite a few people use Oamaru as a base from which to explore Dunedin and Waimate, both of which are within an hour or so by car. To help our guests to plan their visit to this part of New Zealand, we have created a handy, free, smartphone app that w...

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December 20, 2015

2015 Gingerbread House Unveiled!

[caption id="attachment_1218" align="alignleft" width="600"] Gingerbread Waitaki District Council[/caption] Every year since 1997 we have created a gingerbread house as part of our holiday decorations, generally modelled on an architectural marvel that we visited during the year during our own holidays. Sinc...

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October 6, 2015

Pen-y-bryn’s Sous Chef Competes in Young Chef Competition

Ashley Baty, since early 2014 the sous chef at Pen-y-bryn, has just competed against young chefs from all over New Zealand in the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition held annually by the New Zealand bailliage of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. This august group, with 25,000 members in 80 countries, has a history d...

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September 22, 2015

Oamaru and Pen-y-bryn in the News

There has been a sudden spurt in reporting on interesting things in the Oamaru area, including a few articles about Pen-y-bryn Lodge itself. New Zealand's Life and Leisure magazine for September/October 2015 has no fewer than three pieces about Oamaru. The first one is about local car manufacturer Rod Tempero...

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August 26, 2015

Pen-y-bryn Annex Expansion Shaping Up!

In mid-2014 we began the process of planning for the expansion of our three guest rooms in the Oamaru stone "Annex" building (the Nest, Park and Garden Rooms) by challenging Timaru-based architect Desmond Prisk, who had been involved in the original conversion of the Annex building into a guest accommodation ...

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June 7, 2015

Pen-y-bryn Sous Chef Takes Bronze!

Ashley Baty, sous chef at Pen-y-bryn, participated in the 2015 New Zealand National Final of the Hans Bueschke World Chef's Challenge, held in Christchurch at the weekend. The competitors were given the challenge of preparing a menu using a selection of ingredients provided by the competition, including salmo...

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June 4, 2015

Centurion Magazine Features Pen-y-bryn Lodge

Centurion, the travel and lifestyle magazine for American Express premium card-holders, has a special feature on "48 places to spend 48 hours", recommending Pen-y-bryn Lodge as a great place for a visit. The photo they chose to use is a photo from the one time in more than five years that it has snowed in Oam...

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March 31, 2015

Big News in our Annex Rooms!

As a Category One historic property, the main lodge building of Pen-y-bryn is protected by Heritage NZ, preventing us from doing anything to change the appearance of any of its rooms, or to the appearance of the interior or exterior of the building. As a result, our two "main lodge building" guest rooms--The ...

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February 28, 2015

Pen-y-bryn Featured in Heritage NZ Magazine

The Autumn 2015 (#136) issue of Heritage, the magazine of Heritage New Zealand, has been released, and one of the main articles is about Pen-y-bryn Lodge and the work we have undertaken to restore this 1889 mansion to its current state. Work continues to enhance the Category One mansion, but the article does ...

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November 3, 2014

Oamaru is New Zealand’s “Coolest Town”

With every new edition of the Lonely Planet guide to New Zealand in recent years we have noticed the number of pages devoted to Oamaru and the surrounding area has grown progressively larger. Gone are the days when Oamaru merited a mere two pages and the sense that the town was suitable for little more than a...

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August 26, 2014

New Oamaru Book Features Pen-y-bryn Lodge

Penguin Press will soon release a beautiful book in full colour celebrating the town of Oamaru, its characters and of course its food. This book, due out in New Zealand in the spring, features detailed stories about the people who make Oamaru so special, including Phil and Tyla Scott of Scotts Brewing Company...

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July 6, 2014

Three-Night Itinerary in Oamaru

During recent meetings in North America, we have been asked a number of times to produce a three-night itinerary for clients of New Zealand specialist travel agencies who are tired of the traditional "if it's Tuesday, this must be Rotorua" style of tourism, and who instead want to really experience the places...

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July 2, 2014

Special 125th Anniversary Promotion

This year marks Pen-y-bryn's 125th birthday, and we are celebrating by offering our guests a special two-night package! Stay two nights with us anytime between 1 October 2014 and 30 April 2015 and enjoy a gourmet meal on both nights, free entrance to the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony's premium evening viewing, a...

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June 1, 2014

Oamaru on Fire Sets Town Alight

For the third year running, the Queen's Birthday weekend in Oamaru kicked off with a bang with the Oamaru on Fire festival. This nighttime event takes place in the historic centre of Oamaru on Harbour Street, with all sorts of fire-related performers, pyrotechnics, and other festivities, together with live mu...

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May 15, 2014

Visit Clarks Mill

For the past several years we have been hearing about how we had to make time to visit Clarks Mill (for some reason, that is the correct spelling, without an apostrophe in “Clarks”), the only surviving water-powered flour mill in New Zealand. Despite all the people telling us to make the short trip from Oam...

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