Lots of countries around the world are famous for giant buildings – America has the Empire State Building, Dubai has the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa, and the list goes on. While New Zealand isn’t well-known for it’s tall buildings, it is known for its love of giant, and slightly bizarre, sculptures. With seemingly every town in New Zealand famous for something, they shout loud and proud about it with their giant duplicates. We take a look at some of the giant sites you should stop at with your Auckland car hire. 1) The L&P bottle L&P is New Zealand’s national beverage of choice – you’ll see in small town shops and big supermarkets alike. Standing for Lemon & Paeroa, L&P have a giant seven-metre-high bottle in the town in which it’s made – Paeroa. Conveniently located on the way from Auckland to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, getting a snap with this big bottle is easy. The statue is surrounded by information about its development, so you get to learn something too.
2) The big donut What you need to know about the donut, is that it’s located in the town of Springfield – as in, a place with the same name as the one Homer Simpson and co reside in stateside. When The Simpsons Movie was released back in 2007, 20th Century Fox gifted a six-tonne giant donut in honour of Homer’s culinary tastes. Sadly, the original was damaged in a fire but a replacement has since been installed. 3) Big Sheep and Big Dog The old joke about New Zealand being home to more sheep than people means it’s less than surprising that there is, you’ve guessed it, a giant sheep! Sitting alongside a big sheepdog, you can catch this giant sculpture at Tirau tourist information centre in the North Island’s Waikato region. Latest estimates suggest there are now around 30 million sheep in New Zealand compared to 4.6 million people, according to Stats NZ. This puts the ratio at six sheep for every person, compared to 22 of the woolly farm animals for each resident back in 1982.
4) Big Crayfish You may know the South Island’s Kaikoura as New Zealand’s premier destination for whale and dolphin watching, but did you know it’s also home of the giant six-metre crayfish? Alongside whales and dolphins, Kaikoura is known for its seafood, including the much smaller type of crayfish. So why wouldn’t you erect a giant version? Spot it on the side of the Lobster Inn Tavern where menus include plenty of fishy options, if that’s what you’re in the mood for.
5) Giant Kiwifruit If you head across to the Bay of Plenty, on the east coast of the North Island, you might come across the giant kiwifruit slice. Standing proudly outside the Kiwi360 experience, you can get a look at the giant while visiting the fruit orchards and the souvenir gift shop. However, that’s not all – you can also climb inside and head to the kiwifruit viewing platform. There are several smaller kiwifruits scattered around the region, which is known for growing a considerable amount of the country’s produce. To keep you politically correct – the term ‘Kiwi’ refers to the people. If you’re talking about the edible item, you’d do well to add the word ‘fruit’ to the end of it or expect a confused look.
6) The Big Gumboot Known as ‘wellies’ in some parts of the world, gumboots are considered an essential item in New Zealand. The town of Taihape in the North Island makes a significant number of them, and so has a giant gumboot statue set over the town’s name. Time your visit to include the annual Gumboot Day in March, which includes a throwing competition alongside lots of other entertainment.
7) The big carrot Representing the high number of carrots grown in the area, this giant sculpture sits in Ohakune, a few hours south of Auckland. Originally part of a television bank advertisement, the carrot was considered worthy of a permanent roadside home in the North Island.
We’ve only just scratched the surface on the list of New Zealand’s giant things. To see our favourites and many more for yourself, book your car hire from Auckland Airport now.