© NZPocketGuide.com
© NZPocketGuide.com

What is Kiwiana?

© NZPocketGuide.com

No, it is Not a Female Kiwi

The question that is on every traveller’s lips when they come to New Zealand: what is Kiwiana? What is this made-up word? (Ok, maybe it’s not on every traveller’s lips, but we have to make this interesting). So let’s sort this out once and for all!

If you want to learn about the New Zealand culture, you must learn about “Kiwiana”. Kiwiana is such an emblem of New Zealand that there is even a whole town dubbed the “Kiwiana Town” with its own “Kiwiana Committee”. Find out more about this Kiwiana town in the article below. You’ll also learn the definition of Kiwiana and what objects make up Kiwiana all is the text below.

Before the end of this article, you will be ready to walk out into the land of New Zealand with a deep and meaningful understanding of Kiwiana that will change the way you see the world forever. Ok, we’ve gone too far so here’s the article.


This article will answer the burning questions:

  • What is the definition of “Kiwiana”?
  • What are the Kiwiana items?
  • Is there a town dedicated to Kiwiana? Because there should be!
Pexels© Pexels

The Definition of “Kiwiana”

So here it is, the moment you have all been waiting for. Here is the definition of Kiwiana:

“Any of the many collectables’, items redolent of New Zealand life and culture”. Oxford N.Z. Dictionary.

So that’s anything to do with New Zealand culture and heritage. But, as you will soon discover, they are usually quite quirky things.

Pixabay© Pixabay

What are Some Kiwiana Items?

Buzzy Bee: An old New Zealand toy, which is a bee you pull along the floor and its wings spin around.

Fush n’ Chups: What can we say, Kiwis love fish and chips.

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream: Hokey Pokey is basically the New Zealand word for honeycomb.

Jandals: New Zealanders call flip-flops/thongs/sandals “jandals” so therefore it is Kiwiana. Plus, they wear them a lot. Learn how to say other New Zealandisms in Talk like a New Zealander / Talk like a Kiwi.

Kiwi: The national bird.

Tomato Sauce Bottle: A bottle shaped like a tomato. Makes a fun gift for the family and friends at home.

L&P: New Zealand fizzy drink invention.

Kiwifruit: Because it happens to have the same name as the bird so New Zealand just went with it. Also, New Zealand grows kiwis.

Pavlova: A New Zealand desert. Learn how to make one here.

Tiki: The Maori symbol for the first mortal man.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

There’s a Town Dedicated to Kiwiana!

Otorohanga in the central North Island is also known as Kiwiana Town!

Otorohanga has big images of Kiwiana hanging from the street lights. It all began in 1971 when Otorohanga opened the first kiwi house in New Zealand. This escalated in 1999 when a marketing executive had the idea to extend the ‘kiwi town’ into a ‘Kiwiana town’. One other Kiwiana attractions are the Ed Hillary Walkway which is a mini outdoor museum, of course, dedicated to all things New Zealand.

Find out more about Otorohanga, a must-stop on the way to the Waitomo Caves, by checking out the 5 Fun Things to Do in Otorohanga.

Pixabay© Pixabay

Kiwiana Foods You Have to Try

Food that New Zealanders love!

  • Pavlova
  • Afghan Cookies
  • Ginger Crunch
  • Fish n’ chips
  • Macaroni Cheese
  • Tim Tams
  • Jaffas
  • Whittakers
  • Tip Top Ice Cream

For a full detailed guide to New Zealand food, check out the 10 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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