Day 25 on the Road
Meeting the Kiwiana Committee and Visiting the Otorohanga Kiwi House
It’s Day 25 of New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year and the Kiwiana Committee of Otorohanga have a surprise for us… We also visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House!
Today we are going to visit the official Kiwiana Town of New Zealand. The name of the town is Otorohanga. Kiwiana is all the items to do with New Zealand. It’s like a sign of national pride. For instance, New Zealand is known for jandals, pavlova, kiwi birds, which are native to New Zealand, kiwifruit marmite, tomato sauce, baked beans, all this sort of stuff – that’s all Kiwiana.
Today we are meeting the Kiwiana Committee of Otorohanga. They have an activity planned for us. We don’t really know what we’re doing. We are greeted by the the whole committee and the mayor of the town. And he’s showing us like his bling. [His mayoral chains] have been specially designed for Kiwiana. He’s got tattoos on his arm of a kiwi bird wearing gumboots. I can see what’s coming in right now. I can see what’s coming right at me. I can see two costumes with no one in it… I am presented with the tomato sauce bottle. This is the tomato sauce bottle of Wattie’s which is the brand of New Zealand so I am dressed up as that. On the other side we have robin who is dressing up as the town’s mascot, which is Wiki the Kiwi. The ladies’ are helping me dress up. To be fair she’s really hands-on so I think she’s enjoying dressing up the Frenchy right here. In no way am I tempted to look what I look like in the mirror because I know how ridiculous I must look right now. And I’m just going to roll with it – have fun with it. I don’t know what’s going on – just dress up as a tomato sauce bottle and see what happens… Time to head in the town [of Otorohanga].
I’ve got my Kiwiana entourage following me.
First stop, is the Ed Hillary walkway which is full of interactive displays of different items of Kiwiana. Mr Mayor what is Sir Edmund Hillary famous for? He is famous for being the first man for conquering Mt Everest. Ah, good stuff.
Kiwiana is all about having fun with things and that’s what the mayor says to us as well. He says like Kiwiana – you don’t take it too seriously you just have fun – so that’s what we’re doing. We sort of start dancing. Doing some street dancing dressed as a tomato sauce bottle and the girls are dancing as well. Yeah, it’s just a hilarious scene really. Robin’s having a whale of a time being Wiki and there’s people, locals obviously recognise the costume. There’s kids coming up to him wanting to say hi and stuff. So this is what it’s like to be famous for a day for Robin, so good for. he’s enjoying it. He’s even dancing on the road trying to get some people to honk their horns at him but I think only about three do which is nice.
We’re doing a bit of grocery shopping, we’re going to go try on some clothes in the souvenir shop. We’re basically having a blast just dancing all around the town in front of all the murals and the signs – you know, embracing the Kiwiana.
Then we keep on going to another murals before going back to the district council house where we finally undress. Oh my God, it just feels so good to undress. I can breathe ahhhh.
That was a fun little adventure. I am toast. I am liquid. All in all, it was a bizarre but crazy experience but amazing and fun and we’re so grateful that the Kiwiana committee actually wanted to spend some time with us on this Saturday afternoon. But now we are heading to the Kiwi House which is also in Otorohanga where they do some kiwi conservation work and some native birds work too. They’re having a parakeet feeding. they are tiny little parrot birds and we’re all given some seeds and they just come flocking toward us. Laura and her new lover. that’s a dinner date for you. Don’t get jealous. Come on jump on my hand, there’s plenty of room.
They’re just so cute and awww, I love birds.
I like watching them so much.
See that’s what happens. They love Laura but they don’t love me. We see a tuatara as well. There are four kiwi birds which as soon as you walk into the dark room we see them immediately. They are some huge spotted kiwi. They’re official name is great spotted kiwi. Those four kiwi birds are staying in this kiwi house and they are brought female to them so they can reproduce and when they have the egg they nurture the egg right here then they release them in reserves to put into the wild.
Em, we, yeah. We kind of know we’re meeting the mayor today – we didn’t really know what to expect because some mayors in New Zealand have been known to be animals so we were half expecting that. But no, Mayor Max Baxter is a human being and we are meeting him.