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"Kiwiana not only in festival-crazy Otorohanga" Top 5 Page for this destination New Zealand Local Custom Tip by Kakapo2

New Zealand Local Customs: 129 reviews and 113 photos

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The town of Otorohanga claims to be the Kiwiana town of New Zealand. The third Great Kiwiana Festival took place at the Island Reserve on 3 March 2007. The small rural town is about 50kms south of Hamilton.

At their annual festival they present marching girls, gumboots, sheepdogs and buzzy bees. Just everything that firms under the expression Kiwiana, collectible and not so collectible items like hokey-pokey ice-cream ;-)

All New Zealanders cherish everything Kiwiana which includes heroes like Sir Edmund Hillary and the sports stars like Bruce McLaren and the All Blacks. There are fancy dress Kiwiana parties which guys attend in black singlets, shorts and gumboots, and women wrapped into New Zealand flags and wearing jandals (thongs, flip-flops).

The most unique kiwi icon is, of course, the kiwi - the bird, but kiwifruit as well. The bird gave the New Zealanders their nickname.

You might not have heard of Buzzy Bee - this has been a children's favourite since the 1940's. Other things you can better imagine are the sheep, sure - as we still have 40 million of them. Or the silver fern which is on the jerseys of all NZ sports teams. And bungy jumping. The pohutukawa. Swanndri bush shirts and paua shells.

If you look at the many overweight people in the streets you will not be surprised that Fish'n'Chips is part of the Kiwiana craze, as well as baked beans or spaghetti on toast, meatpie, tomato sauce (not ketchup!), a fizzy drink named Lemon & Paeroa, marmite and vegemite, weet-bix and BBQ.

Actually there is a very nice ad of an insurance company on TV in which they tell you you should insure yourself against theft, and show Kiwi icons being stolen by foreign nations, like the Team NZ skippers Coutts and Butterworth by the Swiss sailing syndicate Alinghi, the opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa by the English, Crowded House by the Aussies, and finally the famous pavlova, a meringue cake topped with cream, strawberries and kiwifruit, disappears - as the Aussies (falsely) claim that this was their invention.


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  • Updated May 11, 2007
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