Otorohanga New Zealand
Brief summary of a small central north island town
A friendly dairy farming community Otorohanga is a small town in the central North Island of New Zealand.
The main street is alive with color as the fresh blooms from the hanging baskets adorn the shop fronts. I love this town. It's my home town where I was born and raised.
In July of 1971 Otorohanga became famous with the opening of the Otorohanga Kiwi House. The first of it's kind to be built in New Zealand. A sanctuary to house our native "Kiwi". The kiwi a small flightless nocturnal bird with feathers resembling fluff is the only known bird to have nostrils on the end of it's beak.
The dream of a sanctuary for our rare native birds was the brain child of local pharmacist Barry Rowe and Bob Horsefall a local brick layer, both men well known in our community. Voluntary labor, funding mainly from donations and with a lot of hard work-- the dream was born. Situated next to the Kiwi House is New Zealand's largest domed walk through Bird Aviary home to many of our rarest birds.
With the Kiwi House and the Bird Aviary fully established the people of Oto (as we fondly call the town) decided we needed something more and Kiwiana was born. A tribute to all things Kiwi, celebrating everything Kiwi from our famous All Blacks to Ches n Dale Cheddar Cheese. The main street is decorated with murals and displays of the good old New Zealand Gumboot--Sheep--Maori Carvings--Anchor Butter--Black Singlet--Buzzy Bee-- Weet-Bix and more. A walkway made as a tribute to Sir Edmond Hillary New Zealand's famous mountaineer is lined with memorabilia and famous icons encased behind glass panels.
Popular Kiwi Icons - Hero's and Heritage make us uniquely Kiwi. The people of Otorohanga have portrayed this so well.
Otorohanga the "Kiwiana" town of New Zealand.