The new Lonely Planet guide to New Zealand, recently released, has a vastly expanded section about North Otago and the Waitaki District, reflecting the increase in tourist attractions and facilities in the area. After visiting the region in late 2011, the writers of the newest 16th edition realized that there was much more to do and see than previous editions had listed, and have given the area multiple pages. Now, in addition to the long-standing coverage of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, there is also a listing for the Yellow-Eyed Penguins, the numerous gourmet attractions of the area, skiing, and of course the wineries of the Waitaki Valley.
In the accommodation section, Pen-y-bryn Lodge remains the lead property, with glowing reports about the work they have done to revitalize their 123-year house and to establish their reputation for exquisite hospitality and gourmet cuisine.
Pen-y-bryn Lodge has recently revised their pricing structure and has introduced three-tier pricing. Offering two “lodge” rooms in the main part of house at NZ$625, the two larger “annex” rooms at $550 and the smaller “annex” room at $475. These rates all include pre-dinner wine and canapés and full cooked breakfast, and include NZ taxes. Dinner is available with prior notice at $125 per person