Monday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Tuesday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Wednesday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Thursday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Friday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Saturday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Sunday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
1 Itchen Street, Oamaru
As you make your way into Ōamaru’s Heritage Precinct it’s hard to miss this stunning corner store. William Bee General Merchants is named for the original proprietor who sold wine, foodstuffs, china and cured meats here way back in 1867. William, it seems, was onto supporting local and NZ made long before it became trendy and current traders, Sarah and Anneke, keep this at the core of their business, too.
Today, Bee’s Corner offers hip baby clothes, New Zealand outerwear, felted throws and rugs as well as gifts, jewellery, candles and body products. The shop’s historic pane glass windows let in heaps of sunlight which makes these unique textures, patterns and designs sing.
On the kid’s side of things you’ll find little numbers from Jamie Kay and Nature Baby, all of which are supremely soft and made with natural fibres. As mums themselves, Sarah and Anneke, have also sourced a range of Pretty Brave footwear and Lamington merino socks which makes William Bee a one stop shop for outfitting the tots. With a focus on organic cotton and fun prints, these brands are ones they love, too.
Mums and dads aren’t forgotten here though as William Bee General Merchants is also home to New Zealand outerwear brand, Moké Apparel, which Sarah created with her father. Their Down coats, rain jackets and wind breakers are all designed right here. These pieces are Oamaru inspired, constructed specifically for the changeable Otago weather but in exciting colour palettes and chic cuts, too.
Moké’s sister brand, Nyx & Min, can also be found amongst the racks here and focuses on luxurious loungewear - the kind of clothes you’ll want to wear at home but also around town. Along the store’s back wall, you can test out the many locally made candles and creams which’ll jazz up any self-care routine. Once you’ve chosen all your favourites, head to the till where you’ll notice an old photo of William Bee himself.
Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou
1 Itchen Street, Oamaru
Near William Bee
The Criterion Hotel
3 Tyne St, Oamaru
First established in 1877, The Criterion has re-emerged in her original form as a classic pub. She’s got everything you need, with Speights to Craftworks on tap, comforting pub grub and accommodation upstairs.
13 Wansbeck Street, South Hill, Oamaru
Local, Kevin Murdoch, restored this building and filled it with historical relics and an art studio. Pop in for a chat with Kevin and the other artist in residence, Al Bell - this is something of an alternative visitors’ centre.
Harbour Street Collective
8 Harbour Street
With coffee, cabinet food, all day brekkie, a playground, art gallery, vintage shop and in-house sushi bar, there’s truly something for everyone. The cinnamon scrolls, for one, fly out the door every morning, so don’t wait!
18 Harbour Street
A beautiful old building full of beautiful new objects. We’re talking NZ made clothing, accessories and homewares that’ll delight even the most discerning of buyers. Do your gift shopping or treat yourself.