Pen-y-Bryn Lodge

Oamaru, Canterbury and the West Coast, New Zealand

At a Glance

  • Historic hotel dating back to 1889 with many original features

  • The only luxury lodge in Oamaru

  • Some of the most exquisite fine dining in New Zealand

  • Charming hosts James and James take care of your every need

  • Visit the rare blue penguins and yellow-eyed penguins nearby

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Best time to Visit

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The climate in New Zealand is incredibly pleasant, with warm and balmy summers and cold crisp winter months with wonderful clear, blue skies. The warmer high-season months of November to April are perfect for outdoor exploration. The colder months of June to August are the best time to ski.

Both North and South Islands are drier on the east coast, rather than on the west, where mountain ranges act as a trap for the moisture-rich winds from the Tasman Sea. It is also worth remembering that it is usually a few degrees cooler on the South Island than the North Island and as New Zealand has a maritime climate, the weather can change rapidly.

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Insider's View

Owner and chef James creates the most fabulous food - come with an appetite!

Do try to visit the blue penguin centre one evening - these little creatures are a delight to watch returning to their nests after a day out at sea fishing!

Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Pen-y-Bryn Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Canterbury and the West Coast


Pen-y-Bryn is a historic lodge located in Oamaru on the south east coast of New Zealand's South Island. With just five unique rooms, you can expect warm hospitality and exceptional food; an ideal base for visiting penguin colonies and the Victorian town.

Pen-y-Bryn is a beautifully preserved historic hotel, originally the home of a wealthy British family in the 1880s. It still has many original features today, and the owners James and James love sharing the house's fascinating history with guests. There are just five guest rooms here, all unique in their design, with two in the main house and three in the annex adjoining. There is an opulently decorated dining room, a full billiard table in the second lounge and beautiful gardens where many of the ingredients used in the food are grown.

Dining is a real highlight of your stay at Pen-y-Bryn, with hearty breakfasts, delicate pre-dinner canapés served in the lounge and exquisite three course fine dining each evening. Owner and chef James is inventive and creative with his cuisine, and is Chancellier of the New Zealand Bailliage of the Chaine des Rotisseurs. Meals are served convivially on a shared dining table, but private tables can also be arranged if you prefer.

Oamaru is a fascinating Victorian town on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island, offering a convenient stopping point between Christchurch and Queenstown or Wanaka if you're travelling around the island. The town has several Victorian streets which have been so well preserved they are often used as film sets for movies! Nearby, the "dinosaur egg" Moeraki boulders are the scene of many a postcard and Pinterest board, and the wildlife viewing opportunities here are excellent too, including colonies of the extremely rare yellow-eyed penguin and the little blue penguin.

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There are five rooms at Pen-y-Bryn - three in the Annex and two in the main house. The Victoria room in the main building overlooks the gardens and has polished wooden floors, and a wheelchair friendly shower. The Elizabeth room features an original Victorian pedestal bathtub in the bathroom, and enjoys underfloor heating. The Annex rooms are more modern in their design, and more spacious, and each unique in their style. The Garden room is the largest room and overlooks the hotel's gardens, the Nest room has views out over the ocean and a romantic style, and the Park room has exposed stone walls and lovely views over the gardens and Awamoa park.


Pen-y-Bryn is more of a couples' hotel than a family-focussed property, but if you are travelling with older children or teenagers it is a good option.


  • Blue Penguins at Oamaru - Evening viewing Premium Entry - Shared

    Home to more than 300 nesting pairs of Blue Penguins, Omaru penguin centre is one of the best spots to watch the world’s smallest penguin species as they come ashore in the evening after a day’s fishing.

  • Peninsula Encounter - Full Day Wildlife Tour and Cruise (Shared)

    A must for wildlife enthusiasts, and birders in particular, this full-day private tour takes in Yellow-eyed Penguins, Hooker’s Sea Lions, Blue Penguins, Albatross and other seabirds from a cruise, beach and observation hides.

Location & directions

Oamaru, Canterbury and the West Coast, New Zealand

Pen-y-Bryn is located in Oamaru on the central east coast of New Zealand's South Island. Located in the heart of town on Towey Street, you can walk out to explore the well-preserved Victorian streets or hop in your car to explore surrounding vineyards, the Moeraki boulders or other nearby sights.

How to get there

Pen-y-Bryn is a great stopping point for travellers heading south from Christchurch to Wanaka and Queenstown, and an hour and a half's drive north of Dunedin if arriving from further south in the Otago district. The lodge is a 3 hours drive from Christchurch and 3.5 hour drive to Queenstown.

How to use our service

Browse our website for luxury travel ideas and holiday inspiration

Call us on +44 20 8682 5400 and speak to a destination specialist about what you want

Receive your bespoke holiday quote, then book online or over the phone

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Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Pen-y-Bryn Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Canterbury and the West Coast

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