As you're on a scenic road trip through Southland, there's a big chance you will be greeted by oversized statues. The big things of New Zealand, as they're called, are large novelty statues located in small towns, often reflecting the town and its identity, and Southland has quite a few scattered around the region. Keep reading to find out where they are.
The big things of New Zealand, as they're called, are large novelty statues located in small towns, often reflecting the town and its identity and Southland has quite a few scattered around the region. The world-famous trout statue, which…
Colac Bay Ōraka is a 10-minute drive westward from Riverton. The bay is very popular for surfing, with waves suitable for all levels, and its northern end is good for swimming. The Colac Bay Classic, a surf competition for all ages, is held…
Brown Trout, Gore
Perhaps Southland's most famous big thing is the Brown Trout in Gore. It commemorates Gore's status as "the world capital of brown trout" and is located in the heart of town. Just outside of Gore, a world-class fly-fishing destination, the Mataura River spans an astounding 140 kilometres of trout-filled waters. The river is said to be a trout fisherman's dream, with a reputation for being the ultimate in brown trout dry fly fishing. According to some, the streams are home to trout weighing between five and seven pounds. You can see why a brown trout was chosen to reflect the identity of this town.
The Surfer, Colac Bay
Colac Bay is a tiny town, just a 40-minute drive out of Invercargill, but it has a massive statue of a surfer right outside the Colac Bay Tavern. It may look a bit rough thanks to the salt-infused Westerlies, but the bay is very popular for surfing, with waves suitable for all levels, and its northern end is good for swimming. The sandy beach is also great for most coastal activities, such as beachcombing, walking, paddling, fishing, diving or horse riding.
Burt Munro, Invercargill
The late Burt Munro is one of Southland's most celebrated legends, and tributes to him have become popular attractions. One of these attractions is a life-size statue near the entrance of Queens Park in Invercargill. A photo with Invercargill's icon riding his magnificently modified old Indian bike is a must to take home as a souvenir!
As one of New Zealand's first deer farms was established at Mossburn in Northern Southland in 1972, it only makes sense that this small town has a giant stag statue. The stag's antlers on this statue are genuine!
Paua Shell, Riverton
When you get to the seaside town of Riverton, you will be greeted by a beautiful pāua shell standing tall. Although its size may not be as realistic (it's 4 metres high!), it is lined with 1000 sheets of real pāua. This giant shellfish was initially intended to draw attention to a local family's souvenir shop, which specialises in pāua products. When the place was sold, the giant statue took on a new status and is now seen by many to represent the coastal town.
Takahē, Te Anau
A huge statue of a takahē, a rare and flightless native bird, is an icon in Te Anau, Fiordland. This much-loved giant blue bird welcomes visitors to downtown Te Anau. Did you know that takahē were thought to be extinct for nearly half a century? They were rediscovered in 1948 in Fiordland's remote Murchison Mountains. If you want to see the bird in real life and real size, visiting Te Anau Bird Sanctuary is a must-do.
Wapiti, Te Anau
Te Anau is lucky not to have one but two giant things in its small town! In front of Fiordland's community centre, you will find a statue of a Fiordland Wapiti bull. Although it's big, it's probably not that far off the actual size of a wapiti deer. The statue is a fibreglass replica of a wapiti found in Fiordland in 1932.
As a homage to the Fortrose estuary, a giant pukeko statue and its prolific bird life stands tall in Fortrose.
Tuatapere claims to be New Zealand's sausage capital, and in 2015, a large sausage statue was gifted to the town. Tuatapere won a ZM Radio contest, asking listeners which small town should get a monument. And so, a 3m-long sausage on a fork, made by Peter Taylor Signs in Auckland, travelled down South to celebrate the famous Tuatapere Sausages. Unfortunately, the sausage is no longer there, but we think this icon still deserves a special place on this list.
Murihiku Southland has a huge amount to see and do, with activities and natural attractions to suit every taste, itinerary, and budget. Walking, mountain biking, fishing, jet boating, and wildlife spotting are just some of the…