Big Carrot

Taupo & the Ruapehu Region

Maybe not so much 'Don't Miss' as 'Impossible to Miss', this roadside tribute to Ōhakune's biggest crop was erected in 1984. Carrots were first grown in the area during the 1920s by Chinese settlers, who cleared the land by hand and explosives. Ōhakune now grows two-thirds of the North Island's total crop. There's a playground here and other vegetables to pose beside.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Taupo & the Ruapehu Region attractions

1. Lake Rotokura

6.25 MILES

For some peaceful moments away from the mountains, consider a walk to this bush-smothered lake, the centrepiece of the Lake Rotokura Ecological Reserve,…

2. Mt Ruapehu

12.63 MILES

Mt Ruapehu (2797m) is the North Island's highest mountain and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. One year-long eruption began in March 1945,…

3. National Army Museum

14.86 MILES

At the southern end of the town, in a large, almost-Stalinist concrete castle, is the National Army Museum. Proclaimed as ‘history without the boring bits…

4. Kawana Flour Mill

18.24 MILES

Just off the Whanganui River Rd near Matahiwi is the restored 1854 Kawana Flour Mill and waterwheel – an exercise in optimism. There's historical info, a…

5. St Joseph’s Church

19.64 MILES

Around a corner in the Whanganui River Rd in Jerusalem, the picture-perfect, red-and-mustard spire of St Joseph’s Church stands tall on a spur of land…

6. Operiki Pa

20.39 MILES

An archaeological site just off the Whanganui River Rd: what was once the centre of somewhere is now the middle of nowhere.

7. Raurimu Spiral

20.66 MILES

The Raurimu Spiral, 30km south of town, is a unique feat of railway engineering that was completed in 1908 after 10 years of work. Rail buffs can…

8. Koriniti Marae

20.99 MILES

Unless there's a function happening, you can wander around Koriniti Marae and the little white-painted Koriniti chapel, between the Whanganui River Rd and…