Our Story

Our family history of farming and quarrying in North Otago spans six generations. Ōamaru Stone, Parkside Quarry, Parkside Limeworks, and Parkside farm are the result of their hard work and vision.

Origins of Ōamaru Stone limestone

Ōamaru Stone architectural limestone is responsibly sourced from high-quality, abundantly occurring natural limestone deposits in our family-owned quarry: Parkside Quarry, in Ōamaru, North Otago.

From as early as the 1860’s, limestone was quarried at various sites around Otago, to build some of New Zealand’s most elegant, architecturally designed buildings – including the iconic Oamaru Opera House. These days, all the other quarries in Otago are gone, except for Parkside Quarry.

Oamaru Stone building
Oamaru Stone quarry

The Quarry

Oamaru Stone cutter
Oamaru Stone blocks
Oamaru Stone and Parkside Lime

Then and Now: quarrying limestone

In 1906 the first limestone block was extracted from the quarry on Parkside farm (now known as Parkside Quarry).

Originally, a large steam driven chainsaw mounted on rails was used to cut the stone from the quarry floor. This saw was later converted to diesel and more recently, was power driven. The limestone is now cut by 3 metre (total diameter) circular blades with tungsten tips. These saws operate hydraulically on our excavators.

Once cutting is complete, the huge 2-ton slabs of Ōamaru Stone are broken out of the quarry floor, loaded onto trucks and taken to our factory just 400 metres away. The limestone blocks are then individually loaded onto trolleys, to feed into three breakdown circular saws (1.80 metre diameter tungsten tipped saws), which cut limestone to the required sizes.

Further fabricating can be done by 5 Axis CNC Machine, and/or by hand, before Ōamaru Stone products are prepared for delivery around New Zealand.

New Zealand’s largest CNC Machine

In 2019, we invested in some of the newest technology available: a massive CNC (computer numerically controlled) saw / machine that is the largest of its kind in New Zealand and one of only two in Australasia.

The 5 Axis CNC Machine gives our customers practically limitless design options: Ōamaru Stone limestone can custom cut, carved and shaped to almost any size, shape and design.

Low Emissions

Our energy use for production, is very low: Ōamaru Stone limestone blocks are quarried onsite at Parkside Quarry, then taken to our factory just 400 metres away, to be fabricated. Ōamaru Stone products are then delivered to clients around New Zealand, direct from the quarry.

Zero Product Waste

Any limestone offcuts are taken to our Parkside Limeworks 500 metres away, where the limestone is crushed to dust and used in products such as Parkside Limeworks agricultural lime soil conditioner, track lime, and chicken grit lime – all of which returns the limestone back to nature. Ōamaru Stone is possibly the only building product with this organic benefit for land.

You can tour the Ōamaru Stone quarry pits and factory at Parkside Quarry (approx. one hour tour). We also have a Museum that you can look around, after the Tour.