I think anyone that passes through Oamaru gets a big surprise when they stop there. Just off the highway down Harbour street lies another world. With a Victorian style theme and garments to suit it worn daily, this is one place not to miss! And it’s here that I found a very interesting bookstore...
ADVENTURE LITERATURE AT ITS BEST!
As I first walk into Adventure Books, I am greeted by a big lifeboat. I glance over to the doorway as I work out the logistics of getting in there...
A replica of the same one used by Sir Ernest Shackelton, the British polar explorer, to escape to South Georgia, this replica lifeboat was used in the 2012 film, Shackelton's Captain.
But my attention is soon drawn away to what is probably the biggest collection of books in a bookstore I have ever seen. I think you could almost call it a library!
With over 15,000 books spread on every wall and corner, there’s a common theme among them all…
ADVENTURE, ADVENTURE, ADVENTURE!
Every single book is adventure related. And you’ll actually have a little adventure walking through this shop!
I stop at the Captain Cook shelf and pull out a small, well worn book that grabs my attention. I open to the first few pages and see a few small pencil marks.
I’m holding a book made in 1840!
And the further I delve into this curious place, the more I find.
Ancient (relative) manuals on mountaineering. The history of sea travel. Diaries and stories from all areas of the world. Rare single prints and originals. There's books all the way back from the 1600’s complete with special paper separating the pages to preserve them.
I learn from the nice proprietor of the store, Bill Nye, that he had been collecting books for a very long time. Its been his lifelong interest.
Travelling the world working as an engineer, he has visited every continent and in the process has gathered a truly impressive library of literature!
Suffice to say, he’s got it all!
ADVENTURE BOOKS AND MORE!
After spending a while there, I left to see the other sights around this surprising town.
There's Steampunk displays and museums, limestone carvers working as you watch, a bakery with the best pastries I’ve ever had (Oh and trust me, I try all the pastries everywhere I go), and there’s even a castle built by a lady who's had a lifelong dream to build one. Riverstone Castle is one impressive house that's for sure!
Yep, this little town surprises everyone I think.
So if like me you have adventure on your mind, make sure to visit the Adventure Books shop in Oamaru on New Zealand's east coast on your next trip!
You can find the Google maps location for the Adventure Books shop HERE.