top of page
  • Stephen Woods

Ranking Wikipedia's List of Aotearoa's Biggest Things

Updated: Mar 11

Words by: Stephen Woods (he/him), Phoebe Robertson (she/her)

Aotearoa boasts an abundance of unique items: kiwifruit, sheep, and craft beer are just a few. But did you know it is also home to many oversized structures? This cultural trend may stem from Aotearoa's small size. So, we decided to rank Wikipedia's likely incomplete list of the country's biggest things.

33. The Big Parsnip (Ohakune)

Be warned: if you've never seen this before, prepare yourself for a bizarre sight. Is it the unsettling resemblance to a pornographic version of Veggie Tales? Or perhaps the addition of shoes? Some say it's the oddly smooth and "sexual" legs, but either way, this one takes the top spot as the worst on our list.

32. The Big Sandfly (Pukekura)

Why was this fly suspended in midair? While it may just be a fly, hanging it outside only adds to its creepy factor. We couldn't help but ask ourselves, "What on earth?"

31. The Five Clydesdales (Clinton)

Surprisingly, these horses don't live up to their name as being particularly big. They're just slightly larger than average horses. Perhaps their dizzying numbers are what earned them a spot on this list?

30. Harbour Mouth Molars (Dunedin)

These things are absolutely terrifying. 

29. Big Kiwis (Ōtorohanga)

It's a corrugated iron kiwi with the New Zealand flag painted on it. Despite its kiwi shape and national pride represented by the flag, it still feels distinctly American.

28. The Big Loaf (Manaia)

Why is this loaf of bread so wrinkly? It reminded us of a child's drawing that grows on you over time. Similarly, the Big Loaf somehow grew on us despite its unappealing appearance.

27. Big Bicycle (Taupō)

We're not entirely sure if this one still exists, or if it was just a fleeting moment in New Zealand's history. Either way, Stephen questioned whether it could even be considered a bicycle if it couldn't be ridden. He argued that it was simply bike-shaped and non-functional.

26.  Big Dairy Whip (Tatuanui)

The previous Big Dairy Whip was a disaster, but it blew up and was replaced with a slightly improved version. We stumbled upon a Stuff article about the explosion, which included a quote from someone who drove by and noticed the damage the next morning, saying "wow, what happened here?" Maybe our issue is not with Big Dairy Whip itself, but rather with Stuff.

25. Big Sheep Shearer (Te Kūiti)

Disappointing, as it's not a large attraction but just a large man. The photographs make it seem like it has been neglected. Phoebe believes that Weta Workshops did a better job with their big men. 

24. Surfer Riding A Wave (Colac Bay)

Once again, not a notable feature, just an oversized statue. 

23. Big Sausage (Tuatapere)

The excessive amount of grill marks raised our concern. If this was a normal-sized sausage, the grill must have been tiny to fit 10 marks on it. It breaks the suspension of disbelief. 

22. Big Doughnut (Springfield)

There are scientific inaccuracies within the design; for instance, the jelly filling in a donut with a hole is illogical. We can't even bear to look at the donut anymore; a huge disappointment.

21. Big Fruit (Cromwell)

Why are they clustered so closely together?

20. Giant Oystercatcher (Kaiaua)

It is decent enough; its Maori name is Tōrea. However, nothing stands out about it. 

19. Big Trout (Taupō)

Slightly artistic and sculptural: a flying trout. 

18. Jandal On The Mandel (Between Kopu and Thames)

A fence surrounds it, obstructing what would probably be an excellent view, making sitting on the "Big Jandal" an unenjoyable experience: 10/10 Jandal, 0/10 view. 

17. Big Kiwi (Eketāhuna)

Why does it wear gumboots? Does it really have gumboots on? It looks like it does; likewise, it seems to be made from paper mache and isn't kiwi-colored, which is disappointing. 

16. Big Wheelbarrow (Hokitika)

It is significantly larger than a typical wheelbarrow and serves its purpose effectively. 

15. Big Pāua (Riverton)

Initially, we were not impressed by this sculpture until we learned that it was made with real Pāua shell, which earned some respect from us. At least it accurately represents what it's supposed to be. 

14. Big Apple (Waitomo Caves)

This could be the perfect opportunity for Taika Waititi to produce a film adaptation of James and the Giant Apple. 

13. Big Kiwifruit (Te Puke)

Stephen has fond memories of climbing on this sculpture as a kid, but it's unclear if that experience shaped his lifelong love for kiwifruit.

12. Big Bull (Bulls)

Bulls and more bulls. 

11. Big Takahe (Te Anau)

We have only one question about this sculpture: where are the Takahe's eyes? It's impossible to see them in any photo, but as bird enthusiasts, we still appreciate this piece. 

10. Big Kowhai (Napier)

We both desperately want to climb this sculpture. It looks like forbidden monkey bars or a forbidden ladder. The level of detail is impressive, but the birds perched on top do not accurately reflect their size, which ruins the illusion a bit.  

9. Big Crayfish (Kaikōura)

A giant crayfish on a building may seem strange, but the level of detail on this sculpture is surprisingly well done. Phoebe has an aversion to the number of legs on the crayfish, but that's more of a personal preference rather than a criticism of the sculptor's work. 

8. Big Prawn (Taupō)

Phoebe's brother once visited the prawn park, where they give you a net and say good luck. After four hours of trying to catch a prawn, one man left in defeat. However, this information may not be entirely reliable.

7. Big Sheep and Sheepdog (Tīrau)

Stephen has nostalgic memories of his childhood visits to this park and refuses to see it as objectively ugly. He even defends the large piece of leather sticking out of the dog's mouth as its tongue.

6. Mega Cow (Morrinsville)

This cow is much larger than the one in Bulls, with udders at human head height that seem like a design flaw.

5. Big Trout and Big Guitar (Gore)

While the trout is impressive on its own, it's grouped with a guitar because Gore supposedly has a lot of country music—which we both see as a warning sign.

4. Big Salmon (Rakaia)

This sculpture is well-crafted and painted, and its size makes it stand out. The only downside is its slightly terrifying mouth, but overall it would make a great decoration for any flat. 

3. Big Lemon & Paeroa bottle (Paeroa) 

This one gets two thumbs up for being great. However, Phoebe remembers her childhood experience of getting locked in the talking toilets nearby, which ruined her fondness for this giant bottle.

2. Big Carrot (Ohakune)

Phoebe was rooting for this one to win, but she ultimately lost in a game of paper scissors rock against Stephen. This object is impressive not just for its size, but also for its unique shape. It has inspired both of us to make the journey to see it in person. 

1. Big Gumboot (Taihape)

This takes the cake as the ultimate Big Thing in Aotearoa. It perfectly embodies the concept of making something small into something larger than life. It's also an ideal rest stop for anyone traveling to Pōneke from any direction.


bottom of page