12 Unusual New Zealand Attractions
New Zealand is largely known for two things: astoundingly beautiful scenery, and exhilarating daredevil adventures. But if those aren’t your thing, a trip is still worthwhile – the island is rife with unique and unexpected delights. Take a look at a few of them here:
ART & SCULPTURE
L&P Bottle (Paeroa)
Celebrate New Zealand’s love of Lemon & Paeroa by taking a photo with an enormous bottle of it. It’s a little too large to drink comfortably, but all the more impressive for that.
Horizon Sculpture (Gibbs Farm)
Sometimes, holidays can help you see things in a different perspective – in the case of the Horizon sculpture, created by artist Neil Dawson, that perspective is 2D. If you look at it from a certain angle, it looks more like a Photoshopped drawing than a real-life sculpture.
Giant Kiwi (Te Puke)
If you haven’t taken a photo with a giant kiwi, have you really been to New Zealand? Proudly displayed in the centre of Te Puke, its purpose is to draw attention to the town’s wide variety of kiwi-inspired offerings – goal accomplished.
If you’re a tea lover, someone who delights over weird collections of things, or just a fan of the song ‘I’m a little teapot’, then you’ll enjoy this unexpectedly whimsical attraction. This collection of teapots is something like a homewares store that’s out of control, and the best part of it is – the owner drinks coffee.
Claphams National Clock Museum (Whangarei)
While away the hours with a visit to the Claphams National Clock Museum. With a collection that has everything from ancient water clocks to bizarre and beautiful timepieces, spend some time learning about time.
Steampunk HQ (Oamaru)
Chances are you’ve heard of steampunk – a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on steam technology, it often involves intricate and astonishing fashion and design. A trip to Oamaru’s Steampunk HQ will teach you everything you need to know about steampunk culture, with a ‘retro-futuristic’ collection of art.
Puzzling World (Wanaka)
Step straight into a labyrinth like no other at the Wonderful World of Weirdness – with a multi-level outdoor maze and rooms of optical illusions, you’ll be dazzled for hours on end.
World of WearableArt Museum (Nelson)
Don’t just look at art – become art. Turn the street into your runway at the World of Wearable Art, where you’ll find all the inspiration you need to make your own artworks out of your fashion. And if you’re more a fan of cars than clothes, there’s also the Nelson Classic Car Collection, with a range of immaculate and elegant vintage cars.
Waitomo Caves (Waitomo)
The Waitomo caves are possibly the most unmissable natural wonder in New Zealand – a tall order in a country so rich in breathtaking scenery. These caves are often known as the glow-worm caves, for the millions of glow-worms that adorn the cave walls and ceilings. Imagine a whole room filled with fairy lights, then imagine something more beautiful, accompanied by a relaxing boat ride.
Cape Reigna (Aupouri Peninsula)
This stunning site is a significant location for Maori culture, regarded as the place where the spirits of the dead travel, to jump off the headland and climb the 800-year-old pohutukawa tree in order to reach the underworld. It’s also the spot at which the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet, in case you’ve ever wanted to be in two places at the same time.
Hot Water Beach (The Coromandel)
If you’re a fan of the beach, but not of freezing when winter temperatures descend, this beach is the perfect solution. Situated on the gorgeous Coromandel Peninsula, all you need to get a warm beach bath is dig a hole, or find an already dug one, to take advantage of the underwater hot springs.
Baldwin Street (Dunedin)
If you think your walk home is steep, you haven’t seen anything yet. This Dunedin street holds the record for the steepest street in the world, with an incline of 19° at its maximum.