Waitaki's landscape is defined by the Waitaki River as it flows east from the Southern Alps to the vast Pacific Ocean. The wide river valley is bordered to the north by the Canterbury Plains and by the rolling hills of the Otago region to the south.
To the north is the town of Oamaru, distinguished by its 19th century whitestone buildings and one of New Zealand’s oldest public gardens. Two penguin species have colonies in Oamaru, and it's the perfect place to enjoy a close encounter with the world's smallest, the little blue penguin, and the rare yellow-eyed penguin in their natural habitats.
The diversity of the Waitaki region continues further inland, where snowcapped mountains and the Waitaki River provide a startling contrast to the barren hills rising from the valley floor.