Are your family road trips filled with constant asking of ‘Are we there yet?’. When you’re travelling the country, New Zealand has plenty of roadside landmarks for you and the kids to keep an eye out for. Whether you’re down south or up north, there are many unique, gigantic landmarks to marvel at. We’ve discovered the ultimate road trip landmarks your kids will love!
Very large Carrot – Ohakune
Ohakune grows two-thirds of the North Island’s carrot supply, so it’s no surprise they built a monster carrot to mark their fame. Popular with the locals and tourists, stop off and snap a pic at the entrance to the town with the kids in front of this one-of-a-kind landmark.
Giant Gumboot – Taihape
If it weren’t for your gumboots, where would you be? This giant roadside gumboot will have the whole family singing. Multi-coloured and made of iron, this iconic kiwi symbol is a favourite for kids of all ages.
Big Apple – Otorohanga
This 7.5 metre apple will definitely make your eyes pop at its size. Situated in the Waitomo region, whether it’s after a day of caving or a mid-roadtrip stop, be sure to grab a bite to eat at the well-known cafe and admire their gigantic apple out front.
L&P Bottle – Paeroa
The classic kiwi Lemon & Paeroa drink is so well loved, the locals of Paeroa decided to place a massive bottle in the centre of the city. Marking its birthplace, the soft drink bottle stands an impressive eight metres tall and is a popular photo backdrop for visiting tourist. You’ll soon be craving a bottle of that good lemony fizz.
Kiwiana / Big kiwi – Otorohanga
Otorohanga is the kiwiana capital of the country. Drive through the city and spot the Kiwiana symbols lining the streets, such as a kiwifruit, flannel shirts, NZ flag and the buzzy bee. New Zealand’s most well-known symbol stands at either end of the town, so whatever direction you come from, you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of our great flightless bird.
Whipped cream can – Tatuanui
Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company has a colossal whipped cream can sitting outside their factory to mark their most popular product. Whipped cream has long been a part of New Zealand’s food culture, and the sight of this will have you longing for a Pavlova dessert.
Herd of cows – Morrinsville
42 life-size cow sculptures line the Waikato town of Morrinsville. These beautifully designed artworks showcase the expanding art scene of the town along with its roots to farming. See if you can find them all (there’s even an online map to help you!).
Monster Kiwifruit – Te Puke
The kiwifruit is symbolic of New Zealand worldwide, and this delicious fruit is loved by all. Its hometown has branded itself as the kiwifruit capital of the world, marking their status with an enormous monster kiwifruit sculpture in the middle of the city. Stop off and try some of the mouth-watering local produce while you’re there.
Giant Bull – Bulls
A number of giant bull statues stand tall at the entrances to the small town of Bulls. This makes for an instantly recognisable location and a memorable place name pun.
Super-sized Dog and Sheep – Tirau
Two impressive buildings in Tirau resemble both a sheep dog and a sheep, and are home to the town’s Information Centre. Among the biggest of the landmarks on our list, step in through the mouth of the animals and find out more about this quaint little town.
Humungous Bike – Taupo
This massively over-sized bike is used to promote road safety in the area. Whilst actually climbing onto the bike might prove a little too tricky, don’t worry, the view is just as good from the bottom.
Big Shearer – Te Kuiti
Home of the New Zealand shearing championships, Te Kuiti calls itself the shearing capital of the world. A giant farmer shearing his sheep stands tall in the town centre to mark the town’s talents and will definitely educate the kids on the country’s farming history.
Skytower – Auckland
The tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere stands in the centre of Auckland city. Admire it from below or go all the way up to get unreal scenes of Auckland. Time it right and you might even get to see someone brave jumping off (attached to a bungy, of course!).
Mega brown trout – Gore
Have a fish lover on your hands? A giant brown tout rests in the northern entrance of the town of Gore and is sure to impress all budding fishermen. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb up the rocks at the bottom to get up close and personal.
Jumbo stonefruit – Cromwell
The huge 13-metre high stonefruit statue is hard to miss in Cromwell and represents the large population of stonefruit growers in the area. Be sure to seek out some actual stonefruit and put their delicious fruits to the taste test.
Giant Paua – Riverton
On the main street of Riverton, the biggest Paua shell statue sits in clear view. The deep south is renowned for their paua, so stop off and give them a try at one of the local takeaways or restaurants. Or purchase a memento of your trip with a colourful creation of paua shell products by the local artists.
Doughnut – Springfield, Canterbury
Set up in 2007 to promote The Simpsons movie, whether you’re a fan or not, this magnificent doughnut sculpture is a must-see if you’re passing through. The distinctive pink icing with sprinkles will definitely have the whole family’s mouths watering.
Mighty Salmon – Rakaia
This 12-metre high statue is sure to impress the little ones. Get up close and personal and even learn something along the way, this landmark was built to serve as a reminder to keep our rivers and lakes clean and waste-free for salmon to live in.
Enormous Surfer – Colac Bay, Southland
New Zealand has some of the best beaches in the world, enticing surfers from across the globe. This sculpture of a giant surfer riding a wave showcases the talent that flocks to its beaches at all times of the year.
Leaning Tower – Wanaka
Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World is an extremely popular tourist destination in Wanaka and a great chance to exercise the legs and brain. The outside is home to a leaning tower that will have you and the kids well and truly puzzled.
Life-size Moa – Queenstown
The giant Moa bird once called our land its home. Now extinct, the people of Queenstown have kept its memory alive with this awesome life-size statue of the ancient bird. Located on Beach Street in town, be sure to check it out if you’re visiting.
Fanfare artwork – Christchurch
If you’re travelling north of Christchurch, you’ll come across the Fanfare sculpture, a breath taking 25-metre tall sphere created by local artist Neil Dawson. Educating your kids on the cool and quirky stuff in the art world will make them extremely knowledgeable in years to come.
By Katie Pettigrew
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