Oamaru the largest town in North Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand, is the main town in the Waitaki District. It is 80 kilometres south of Timaru and 120 kilometres north of Dunedin, on the Pacific coast, and State Highway 1 and the railway Main South Line connect it to both. Oamaru's historic status as the second centre in the Otago Region (after Dunedin) appears under threat from the growth of Queens town in Central Otago.
The name Oamaru derives from M?ori words meaning the place of Maru (compare with Timaru). The identity of Maru remains open to conjecture