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Located in the historic coastal town of Oamaru, Pen-y-bryn Lodge is a charming Category 1 listed Victorian mansion, reputed to be the largest single-storey wooden residence in Australasia.

Built in 1889, Pen-y-bryn Lodge - which in Welsh translates to 'top of the hill' – is an aptly named luxury lodge which sits atop the South Hill on the southern side of Oamaru.

The property is unique in the town, as the absence of trees when British settlers arrived resulted in many of the Oamaru’s buildings being constructed from local limestone. The wooden frame of the building was sourced from the west coast of New Zealand, whereas the interior was constructed using English oak, shipped from England exclusively for Pen-y-bryn.

The five distinct rooms situated in the main lodge and recently refurbished stone annex each have their own unique charm. Within the main lodge, the Victoria and Elizabeth rooms feature queen-size beds and finer details such as Victorian-style tile flooring, while the larger annex rooms, comprising the Garden, Nest and Park rooms, boast a separate bath and shower, as well as coffee-making facilities and a satellite television.

This luxury lodge provides guests with full use of all facilities in the lodge, including free internet access, complimentary soft drinks, tea and coffee. Dining at the lodge consists of gourmet cuisine, where seasonal and local produce is served in the elegant dining room. Visits to observe the impressive little penguin colony can be arranged by the lodge, which takes place at dusk.

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Key info

Wildlife trips

This accommodation is featured in the following itinerary:

Kiwis & Whales Galore: South Island Self-drive

This self-drive of New Zealand’s South Island showcases dramatic scenery, from sandy beaches to picturesque snow-capped mountains. Highlights include cetacean-rich Kaikoura, the Otago Peninsula - home to the endangered yellow-eyed penguin - and Stewart Island for southern brown kiwis.

  • When to go: Sep-May
  • Duration inc. flights: 23 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,395 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
This accommodation is located in:


Historic Oamaru contains some of New Zealand’s best-preserved Victorian streets and buildings. Along with galleries, shops and museums, including steampunk exhibits, there are fabulous rock formations to see, beautiful public gardens to stroll through and the fabled blue penguin colony to visit.

  • Where: South Island
  • Ideal for viewing: little blue penguin, yellow-eyed penguin, New Zealand fur seal, royal albatross, New Zealand sealion