Oamaru stone, sometimes called whitestone, is a hard, compact limestone, quarried at Weston, near Oamaru in Otago, New Zealand. Initially used primarily in Oamaru itself, it became popular in Dunedin in around 1866, the city of Dunedin and town of Oamaru both have many fine examples of Oamaru stone edifices, such as St Patricks Basilica. The stone was used widely on buildings in parts of New Zealand. Notable buildings to use this include the Dunedin Railway Station, Otago University Registry Building, Dunedin Law Courts. In Oamaru itself the stone is most commonly found as the construction material. Its ease of working also appeals to sculptors and examples of Oamaru stone sculpture can be found throughout New Zealand, the source of the stone is a 40-metre thick deposit inland from Oamaru consisting of bryozoan limestone. Oamaru stone is limestone with a uniform granular creamy white consistency, predominantly calcium carbonate, trace chemicals within it include alumina, iron oxide and silica. The stone is porous, making it susceptible to weathering in damp conditions and it is soft when first quarried, hardening on exposure to air. This, along with its texture, makes it excellent for sculptural and ornamental purposes. The finished stonework has a creamy, sandy colour and it is not strongly resistant to pollution, and can be prone to surface crumbling, but is excellent as a material for internal architectural ornamentation. It is also used for free-standing carvings and sculptures. List of types of limestone Media related to Oamaru stone at Wikimedia Commons Parkside Limestone Quarry, home of Oamaru Stone Historic Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust
Oamaru stone is used on many of Otago's older structures, like this bridge arch in Oamaru.
Houses in Oamaru using Oamaru stone.
Weathered cornice and decorated keystones in the harbour area of Oamaru.
The distinctive combination of dark basalt and Oamaru stone is seen in buildings such as Dunedin Railway Station (centre left) and Law Courts (right).