Forrester Gallery

In Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct is a magnificent historical building that houses a highly regarded art gallery where you will find eclectic exhibitions and exciting events.

The Forrester Gallery in Oamaru is considered one of the finest exhibition spaces in New Zealand. See exclusive art collections and experience the creativity and culture of this diverse country.

Wander the three-storey gallery at your own pace to enjoy art that reflects the cultural landscapes of New Zealand. See the artistic influences of immigrants from all over the world and the rich symbolism of traditional Māori culture.

Contemplate the collection of work by well-known modern artist Colin McCahon. These brooding paintings of New Zealand’s mountainous terrain were donated by the artist’s family and are exclusive to the gallery.

Admire the majestic Corinthian columns and ornate stone carvings of the structure. This stately architectural work was built in 1884 as an impressive bank building and converted to a gallery space in 1983.

Participate in the innovative events that are held throughout the year. Listen to fascinating talks by visiting artists or be serenaded by musicians in the evening. Children’s holiday programs are run at specific times during the year and include fun activities, such as drawing and sculpture workshops.

Discover the atmospheric streets of the historic Victorian Precinct that surrounds the gallery. Visit the Grainstore Gallery where eccentric sculptures, paintings and masks are displayed in a beautiful old warehouse. Tour the Customs House Gallery and numerous small shops that sell original pieces by local artists.

Learn about Victorian arts and crafts with a visit to a traditional bookbinder’s shop or watch the woodworkers at Coppice Crafts. The tourist information centre can help you with opening times and local event information.

Taste some of the delicious foods in the area that are based on old-style recipes. Look for traditional bakeries and fudge shops as well as more modern fusion restaurants.

The Forrester Gallery has no entry fees but do check ahead for opening hours. Visit this high-quality art space and walk the elegant streets that surround it for a memorable day out in Oamaru.