CK Travels

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand – the weird and wonderful statues

Off and on, we’ve spent about two years living and working in New Zealand. During that time, one of our favourite past-times was to track down all of the fun ‘big things’ statues around the north and south island. These famous ‘big things of New Zealand’ are generally large novelty pieced located in small towns which generally relate to the town and its heritage.

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From large fruit and vegetable statues (very common) to the biggest bottle of New Zealand’s favourite drink, we are ‘huge’ fans of visiting these quirky and kitsch Kiwi icons. Here is a run down of the superb (yet a bit strange) big statues to keep an eye out for during your New Zealand road trip.

Colossal Fruit in Cromwell, Otago, South Island

The first site that greets you as you drive into Cromwell, this gigantic fruit-bowl is a nod to the region’s production of stone fruit – we love it and it is the ‘apple of our eye’.

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand - the weird and wonderful statues

Raikia Salmon, Canterbury, South Island

It sounds fishy, but Raikia has been crowned the ‘salmon capital of New Zealand’ and has celebrated this by installing a super-sized salmon on the side of the main road. 

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand - the weird and wonderful statues

The Large L&P bottle, Paeroa, North Island

‘World famous in New Zealand’, L&P (standing for ‘Lemon & Paeroa’) is a Kiwi fizzy drink that started out in 1907, originally made by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water from the town this big bottle is based in. Let’s hope they make an equally big metal straw to go with it!

The Giant Gumboot in Taihape, North Island

Taihape is the ‘Gumboot Capital of the World’ (!) and the town also hosts an annual ‘Gumboot Day’ every year so it (probably) makes sense to have a big boot sculpture in the town centre.


FURTHER READING – Ultimate New Zealand bucket list – top 50 things to do


Big Kiwifruit, Te Puke, Bay of Plenty, North Island

There is a logic to New Zealand being home to the world’s biggest Kiwi fruit. This iconic slice of Kiwiana can be found outside the now defunct Kiwi 360 attraction.

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand - the weird and wonderful statues
Credit – Kiwi 360 / Kiwi Fruit Country Tours

Ohakune Carrot, Manawatu-Wanganui Region, North Island

Possibly our favourite big thing in New Zealand because it is so random, Ohakune is home to the world’s biggest carrot (as Okahune now grows two thirds of the North Island’s total carrot crop). Rumours that Bugs Bunny is often seen loitering in town appear to be unfounded.

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand - the weird and wonderful statues

Big Sheep Shearer, Te Kuiti, North Island

The Te Kuiti big sheep shearer marks the Kiwi town where the national sheep-shearing competitions are held every year – this New Zealand big thing is clearly a ‘cut’ above the rest!

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand - the weird and wonderful statues

Big Bull, Bulls, Palmerston North, North Island

In a nutshell, a large Bull, signifying the importance of bulls to Bulls, a farming and agricultural town – we also like how all the various businesses get in on the act with names such as local library (‘read-a-bull’), the police station (‘const-a-bull’), the public toilets (‘reliev-a-bull) and the tourist information (inform-a-bull). This is true – no bullsh*t here at CK Travels!

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand - the weird and wonderful statues

Big Sheep and Sheepdog, Tirau, North Island

Many of Tirau’s shops and businesses either are either made from or have a sculpture on their roofs formed from corrugated iron. The town’s information centre is shaped like a giant dog, with ‘the big sheep’ housing a large wool outlet. Surely this should feature in the ‘Woof Guide to New Zealand’?

‘Big Things’ in New Zealand - the weird and wonderful statues

Springfield Donut, Canterbury, South Island

Doh! The only item on our ‘Big Things in New Zealand’ list that we’ve yet to visit and photograph ourselves (it is away from the big highways and main tourist routes), this originally came about as a publicity stunt for ‘The Simpsons Movie’ (although one local was less than impressed and torched the original one – maybe they were more of a Spongebob Squarepants fan?). The latest big doughnut in Springfield is newer fire-proof concrete one. This (literally) looks ‘sweet as’ to us!

The Big Apple, Waitomo

The Big Apple? Surely that is more New York than New Zealand? Well, not in Waitomo where this strange fruit acts as a novel signpost for The Big Apple Cafe (the big question – do they also bake big apple pies?). The Big Apple is one of many ‘attractions’ in the area, including Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakuri Caves and Aranui Caves.

Credit – BrisbanePom 

The Big Prawn, Huka, Taupo

Huka is home to this prodigious prawn, which acts as the larger than (sea)life character and mascot for Huka Prawn Park, where you can try your hand at fishing, tour the prawn farm or eat seafood at the riverside restaurant (we wonder if they serve prawn cocktails at the bar)?

Credit – Shawn the Prawn

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Blog post by Neil Hassall and is copyrighted. Please do not use without permission.

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