What to Do in Otorohanga: The Kiwiana Capital of New Zealand!
If the Waitomo Caves are on your New Zealand must-do list, then you’re in for much more of a treat than you realised! You’ll be passing through the town of Otorohanga, the self-proclaimed Kiwiana Capital of New Zealand! If you don’t know what Kiwiana is, it’s basically everything to do with New Zealand popular culture – but you can find a more detailed description in What is Kiwiana?
Needless to say, it’s a town that knows how to have fun and not take itself too seriously, so stop by to check out some of the fun Kiwiana features and even check out a real-life kiwi bird at the local kiwi house! Find out more in this list of things to do in Otorohanga!
1. Learn About Kiwiana on the Ed Hillary Walkway
As soon as you enter the town decorated with Kiwiana murals and giant kiwi sculptures, you’ll realise that Otorohanga is not your average town. Learn all about its Kiwiana obsession on the Ed Hillary Walkway. The walkway just off the main street is a mini-museum packed with displays about New Zealand’s popular culture, icons and heroes. Learn about Sir Edmund Hillary, kiwi birds, ANZAC, Marmite, sheep, Pavlova, Maori and much much more!
Location: Between Maniapoto Street and Wahanui Crescent
2. Visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House
This is your chance to see a real kiwi bird in New Zealand! The Otorohanga Kiwi House is a state-of-the-art artificial environment used to breed kiwi birds. The centre is also a native bird park, with feeding displays to see New Zealand parrots such as kea, kakariki and kaka, as well as long-finned eels and blue duck. The park is a non-profit organisation dedicated to wildlife conservation.
Location: 20 Alex Telfer Drive
3. Play Kiwiana Mini Golf
Who doesn’t like a good game of mini golf? In Otorohanga, it’s no surprise that the golf course is Kiwiana-themed, from the rolling hills of the King Country to the invention of the Kiwi dessert, Pavlova! The Kiwiana Leisure Park a great excuse to stretch your legs with your family or friends while road tripping on the North Island.
Location: 7 Alex Telfer Drive
4. Check out the Otorohanga Museum
Every small town in New Zealand needs its museum and Otorohanga is no different! Set in the historic buildings of the 1896police lockup, 1908 church and 1912 courthouse, the Otorohanga Museum holds an interesting display of the town’s relics, including a “historic wheelbarrow”. The museum is free entry. The downside is that it’s only open on Sunday afternoons…
Location: 15 Kakamutu Road
5. Visit the Waitomo Caves
Otorohanga is the gateway town to the famous Waitomo Caves, which are no doubt on your New Zealand bucket list already! In fact, Otorohanga makes a great base for exploring some of the free attractions of Waitomo, including glowworm walks, waterfalls and limestone formations, as well as your big activities like caving and glowworm boat tours. Get inspired in our like of 10 Epic Things to Do in Waitomo.
Location: State Highway 37, 15km from Otorohanga