Thursday, December 04, 2008

Town Icons

New Zealand occassionally does 'First Day Covers' (postage stamps) with a theme. Now I am not a stamp collector, but this set was put out in 1998, just after I arrived in NZ and I thought they were really good. It also gave me something to aspire too. Because the Town Icons are all over New Zealand, I decided that I would make it my mission to visit all these places and get my picture taken by them all.

In 1999 my parents came for a holiday here and we travelled around a little bit, and during that time, without realising it I managed to get my picture taken with 3 of the icons.

The Carrot, the L&P Bottle and the Sheep Shearer.

Unfortunately this holiday was back in the day before digital camera's so I only have hard copies of the pictures, oh and no scanner, so one day I will get them on the computer.

What made me remember about this mission is the fact that we pass the L&P Bottle everytime we go to the caravan. The Kiwi Fruit is also about an hours drive from the caravan, very close to where we have relatives, so we get over that way occassionally. I have mentioned to the boys several times on our way to the caravan that we will stop one time and take their picture. Well when we left this last weekend I remembered and so we stopped. Alex sadly was a sleep in the car (another post for later!) and so we managed to get a picture of Ben with the Bottle.
So maybe my mission has changed slightly and now I have to aim to get pictures of all my family with the icons instead of just me?

Here is a little bit about the Icons:

The true essence of New Zealand is captured in the initiative and friendliness of the country's many small towns. Many communities are fiercely proud of their identity, and have gone to quite extraordinary lengths to keep their spirit alive and to put themselves on the map with powerful visual statements that signal to passers-by just who they are.

Lake Tekapo's Border Collie: The area around Lake Tekapo was, in part, made viable as a farming area by the wonderful sheep-herding abilities of border collies. This bronze sheepdog, on the lookout near the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, is often referred to as Friday - a border collie famous in local mythology.

Riverton's Paua Shell: This giant shellfish on the roadside at Riverton was originally intended to draw attention to a local family's souvenir shop, which specialises in paua products. Since then, the four metre high shell has taken on a new status, and is now seen by many to represent the entire town.

Hawera's Cow: Hawera's 'Big Cow' can be found two kilometres south of the township, on the corner of Whareroa Road and State Highway 3. The 'Big Cow' also draws attention to the Dairyland Visitors Centre and Cafe, and Kiwi Dairies' manufacturing site.

Te Puke's Kiwifruit: This gigantic slice of kiwifruit was one of the country's earliest big roadside icons and can be found in Te Puke - the self-appointed 'Kiwifruit Capital of the World'.

Gore's Brown Trout: Gore's giant brown trout leaps from giant rocks at the northernmost entrance to the town's main shopping area. It is 6.5 metres tall and weighs one tonne.

Kaikoura's Crayfish: Kaikoura has long been associated with crayfish. In fact the word translates as 'eat crayfish'. Determined to remind everyone that the cray was the town's traditional icon, Annette Paterson, the proprietor of the Suntrap Restaurant and Takeaways, built this massive seven metre-long crustacean over the entrance.

Te Kuiti's Shearer: Having produced more than its fair share of Golden Shears Open and New Zealand Shearing Championships winners over the years, Te Kuiti claims to be 'The Shearing Capital of New Zealand'. This 6 metre tall roadside shearer celebrates that status.

Napier's Pania: Napier's Pania of the Reef was inspired by a Maori legend. Pania was a member of the Sea People but met a human named Karitoki and left the waters to live on land with her lover. Her people lured her back to their world, and would not let her return to the land and the man she loved.

Ohakune's Carrot: The Ohakune region produces two-thirds of all the carrots grown in the North Island. Local carrot growers were determined to celebrate this achievement. They did so by rescuing and relocating a 9 metre tall carrot built as a prop for a television commercial.

Paeroa's L&P Bottle: Paeroa spring water was first sold in the late 1880s by the Paeroa Natural Mineral Water Company. Later owners added lemon essence to make Lemon and Paeroa. Today those entering the town are greeted by a seven metre tall L & P bottle.

So maybe you now need to start planning your vacation to New Zealand and see if you can't get around the whole of this lovely country and get your own pictures with the New Zealand Town Icons.
Oh by the way, there are many more large statues around New Zealand that were not officially mentioned by New Zealand Post so loads to see and do here in New Zealand.

1 comment:

Leisy said...

we'll definitely be making a trip to new zealand one day!!