New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
Photo credit: The Spinoff

By Alex Casey from The Spinoff

This summer will go down in history as the first time that I stood in the shadow of the mighty L&P bottle in Paeroa. The rumours are true – I have never seen a botty so big.

After a sheepish look around for someone to take our picture, a young lad with a neon festie bracelet emerged bleary-eyed from his campervan to help us.

We took a photo, made some disastrous small talk about the traffic, and went our separate ways. A memory – and a friendship – made forever. 

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
Photo credit: Coca-Cola Amatil

As we headed home to Auckland, I opened up Google reviews and compared our experience to those of other enthusiastic travellers. The five star reviews were brimming with the same national pride that I felt for the big drop of ice cold fizz.

"30 years between drinks" said Barry, five stars."Home away from home" said Rochelle, who also gave it five stars. "Never know what's going to be around the next curve in New Zealand" said Elaine, who also dropped a sizzling fiver. 

Scrolling further down, the Google reviews began to sour. "In real life it's a lot smaller like the Leaning Tower of Pisa," humblebragged Lyn. "Would have been a longer visit if it wasn't for the torrential rain that day." Poor Lyn. Three stars.

"Its a bottle in a carpark mmm" wrote Angela ambiguously in her two star review. Alecia, who left only one star for the enormous bottle, was much clearer. "Just a big bottle that smells like wee," she wrote, "srry".

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

Inspired by the incredible combination of disappointment, melancholy and rage being hurled at one of our most iconic landmarks, I scoured Google reviews to see what else has been absolutely torn to shreds by furious tourists.

North Island

The Hundertwasser toilets

The mighty Hundertwasser toilets
The mighty Hundertwasser toilets Photo credit: Getty Images

The famous public loo with a view (art), Friedensreich Hundertwasser's crappers are one of the few toilet blocks in the world also recognised as a work of art. Completed in 1999 by the reclusive artist, they are the most photographed bogs in the country and the main attraction in Kawakawa. Wow, what an incredible bit of weird Kiwi tourism. I'm sure everyone loves them!  

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

Auckland Sky Tower

The mighty Sky Tower.
The mighty Sky Tower. Photo credit: Getty Images

Oh, only the bloody tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere at over 300 metres high with a restaurant that SPINS AROUND very SLOWLY in the SKY. What a modern marvel, what a feat of engineering, what an icon of the Auckland skyline. Surely no complaints here.

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

Tongariro National Park

The mighty Tongariro Crossing.
The mighty Tongariro Crossing. Photo credit: Getty Images

Wow, just the oldest national park in New Zealand and a UNESCO heritage site. "With its ruggedly diverse landscape, from volcanic peaks to lush native bush and rivers, the Tongariro National Park World Heritage Site is a natural wonder that beams quintessential New Zealand," the Visit Ruapehu site reads. Also home to one of the world's best one day hikes – aren't we lucky?!

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

Huka Falls

The mighty Huka Falls in action.
The mighty Huka Falls in action. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Witness the phenomenon of natural hydro power with more than 220,000 litres of water per second barreling over an 11 metre high waterfall." Sounds pretty good, no?

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

Splash Planet

The mighty Splash Planet.
The mighty Splash Planet. Photo credit: Splash Planet

I have extremely fond memories of paddling my way through Splash Planet as a kid on a summer trip to Hastings. Waterslides, hot dogs and lazy rivers – still sounds like a cracking day out to me to be honest.

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

South Island

Aoraki/Mount Cook

The mighty Aoraki/Mount Cook
The mighty Aoraki/Mount Cook Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealand's highest mountain at 3,724 metres above sea level, Aoraki can be seen from as far as 150km away. It was also the training ground where Sir Edmund Hilary prepared to climb Mount Everest. These days it is home to only our most adventurous of tourists. 

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo

The mighty Church of the Good Shepherd.
The mighty Church of the Good Shepherd. Photo credit: Getty Images

By day it sits against the deep blue background of the stunning lake, by night it sits beneath the dazzling night sky, untouched by light pollution in the southern hemisphere's first ever Dark Sky Reserve. Such a beautiful place it would probably even make Ricky Gervais believe in God. Right guys?

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

The Big Cromwell Fruit

The mighty big fruit.
The mighty big fruit. Photo credit: The Spinoff

We love our Big Things here in New Zealand, and no cluster of fruit is more sizeable than those that greet you in sunny Cromwell. Home to a place to 'Bargarita' and also Gareth from Married at First Sight NZ season two, this landmark is absolutely unmissable and completely unforgettable.

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

Moeraki Boulders

Sun rises over Moeraki Boulders, South island of New Zealand
Photo credit: Getty Images

You haven't really lived until you have taken a photo pretending to hatch out of one of these puppies, or pretending to have split one clean in two with your mighty strength. The Moeraki Boulders are a must-do photo opportunity and I am sure that absolutely everyone agrees that they are good.

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

#ThatWanakaTree

Wanaka Tree & Star

It began as a joke between photographers, then became an Instagram cliché, and has now become the most photographed tree in New Zealand. Or the most loathed? Hard to say, hard to say.

New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews
New Zealand's favourite landmarks receive savage reviews

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