The Big Car­rot

The Insider's Guide to New Zealand - - NORTH ISLAND -

Like other un­con­ven­tional icons, Ohakune’s Big Car­rot has its con­verts and crit­ics. Some con­sider it phal­lic; oth­ers think it gar­ish. Mike Smith, man­ager of Visit Ruapehu, has no doubt the 7.5-me­tre erec­tion is an as­set. When the Rugby

World Cup was held in New Zealand he per­suaded lo­cals to tem­po­rar­ily paint it black with a sil­ver fern. Vis­i­tors came from all over to get a pic­ture; you can’t buy that sort of pub­lic­ity. Car­rots have sus­tained Ohakune and its neigh­bour­ing towns for 90 years. The Big Car­rot was orig­i­nally cre­ated for a TV advertisement in the early 80s. It was do­nated to the Ohakune Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion in 1984, be­cause of the town’s rep­u­ta­tion as the “car­rot cap­i­tal of the world”. A cav­al­cade of lo­cal grow­ers es­corted it from Welling­ton and peo­ple lined the streets to wave as the veg­etable passed through their town. Find it at

Rochfort Park.

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