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 New Zealand
  • Uncathegorised
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Omaui is a small coastal village in Southland region, New Zealand. It is located approximately 20 km southwest of Invercargill near a small estuary opposite Sandy Point between Invercargill and Bluff. The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage gives a translation of "place of Māui" for Ōmaui.


Omaui was originally a Māori settlement. Sealers and whalers had already utilised the area as a Foveaux Strait base camp in the early 19th century. The first European to survey the village was Robert Williams who had arrived from Australia to scope the possibility of setting up a timber and flax industry on the South Coast. Omaui Reserve was originally covered in coastal bush of a similar nature to the remnants that remain in the area. This vegetation was completely cleared in the early days and used initially for grazing. Regeneration growth in the early 1950s was mainly of manuka which was harvested for firewood in the mid 1960s. Over the past 30 years the area has started to regenerate and now has a diversity of species.
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