Tara Ward power-ranks our nation’s most valuable, revenue-generating resource: Our big-ass rural monuments.
Big Monuments are taking over the nation. No town is safe, no highway untouched by their enormous limbs and massive beaks and enormous carroty girths. We’re obsessed with these oversized symbols of Kiwi identity, and it’s time we celebrated them for what they are, i.e. bloody incredible.
No longer will we denigrate a giant gumboot or shame a huge apricot into silence. Why shouldn’t we be proud of our big sausage, and revel in our love for a whopping big carrot? Let’s embrace this bizarre part of our nation’s self-identity, the weird and wonderful part, the part that stares right into our souls like a gigantic trout with dead eyes that never stop looking at you, no matter how fast you drive away.
Seek and ye will find, climb aboard a corrugated iron Kiwi and ye will regret it. After minutes of extensive research, I’m taking the power back from these Big Statues by ranking them in order of ‘disappointingly sensible’ to ‘fan-bloody-tastic’. The results are in. This is us, New Zealand, you gorgeous slice of kiwifruit, you.
18) Taupo’s Big Bicycle
Chuck on your tightest lycra bodysuit and ring your bell for Taupo’s massive bike, created to raise awareness of cyclists on the region’s roads. Twas such a sight that I nearly drove off the highway, LOLZ! Also, great set of spokes.
17) Waitomo’s Big Apple
How you like them apples? The Waikato likes them big and round and red, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
16) Te Anau’s Big Takahe
Never mess with takahe, because they’re still pissed off with us over that whole “nearly becoming extinct” debacle. Time’s a healer, the planet is fine, let’s all move on as one.
15) Springfield’s Big Donut
Delicious, but alas, not actually made of donut. Opportunity missed, Springfield.
14) Rakaia’s Big Salmon
I love an oversized fish statue as much as the next human, but when you’re up against Gore’s Big Trout, you’ve really got to bring it. Yes, it has a lovely tail and probably an equally as charming personality, but in reality the Rakaia Salmon is but breadcrumbs in the river of big fish dreams. Have you ever had a giant salmon float upstream into your nightmares? I rest my case.
13) Otorohanga’s Big Kiwi
There’s nothing more Kiwi than a statue of a giant kiwi. Or is there? Makes you think.
12) Riverton’s Big Paua
What the (s)hell?
11) Colac Bay’s Big Surfer
Southland is punching above their weight with oversized statues, and I couldn’t be more proud. The sooner they erect a Giant Cheese Roll statue down the middle of Esk Street, the better.
10) Paeroa’s L&P bottle
L&P/Allan’s Pee, it’s a joke that never gets old. Neither does this iconic New Zealand statue, but how can a big brown bottle compete with a mahoosive loaf of bread or a six metre tall dairy cow? Science says it can’t, so RIP L&P.
9) Gore’s Giant Trout
Let’s take a moment to salute this gloriously oily beast, who’s definitely seen some shit go down during its time atop Gore’s finest pole. There’s a reason its mouth is wide open in shock, but as a former resident of this fine town, I’ll say no more.
8) Te Kuiti’s Mr Big Shearer
Absolutely breathtaking, but would probably rank higher if I didn’t already have a fondness for Gore’s tiny ram statue. In solidarity with hairy sheep everywhere, we need to leave the Big Shearer here.
7) Cromwell’s Big Fruit
This buxom bowl of fibre pisses all over Waitomo’s solitary big apple, and yet it’s still not enough for the good folk of Cromwell. They grow big dreams and big fruit in Central Otago, and now they want to add some giant cherries and a bottle of wine with “a tap and a hose coming down so people can have a wee taste.” Incredible news, incredible fruit.
6) Taihape’s Big Gumboot
Taihape? More like die happy, once you’ve laid eyes on the flashest gumboot statue in New Zealand, nay, the entire universe. Simply bootiful.
5) Morrinsville’s Mega Cow
Morrinsville’s milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. This is six and a half metres of bovine brilliance, which, as ColinF said in his Trip Advisor review, “you don’t see every day.” Hold the phone Colin, what if you live in Morrinsville? Lucky bastards.
4) Te Puke’s Big Kiwifruit
Big? It’s fucking massive.
3) Manaia’s Loaf of Bread
Feed me, hold me, rock me gently as we breathe in all the sweet doughy goodness of Manaia’s bread statue. Yarrows of Manaia makes delicious bread, and I will never forget how they used to shoot loaves into the half-time crowd at Taranaki rugby games. I missed out on a nice sandwich loaf, it haunts me to this very day.
2) Ohakune’s Big Carrot
Behold the big carrot energy. Chuck it in a cake, chuck it in a salad, put it on a plinth and say your prayers, thank you and good night.
1) Tuatapere’s Big Sausage
A giant sausage in the middle of rural Southland? Never been prouder to call myself a New Zealander.