Burning bushes to invisible kayaks: NZ's weirdest tourist attractions

Perpetually burning bushes, invisible kayaks and gramophones the size of houses are some of the weirdest New Zealand attractions that have to be seen to be believed.

Overseas trips might be on hold for the time being but Kiwis are being turned on to the sheer range of activities found in their own backyard. Some of which you might not have known existed.

Perpetually burning bush, Murchison

Invisible Kayaks off Goat Island
The marine reserve in Goat Island is hardly an undiscovered gem. On any given day in summer the swimming spot is filled with snorkellers, who have taken the day trip north of Auckland. Beyond swimmers the waters around Leigh are full of life. As base for the Auckland University Marine Laboratory it's a great place to see Red Moki and Blue Maomao.

But there is a more refined way to gain a glimpse into the 'life aquatic'.

Clearyak run kayak tours with a difference. Made from the same material as bullet-proof glass their boats are both strong and completely see-through, providing views of the sea floor beneath.

Surreal scenery in Makarau
The Gibbs Farm has turned from a private project to sculpture park is world famous and yet it's hard to believe that it could be a real place.

A menagerie of zebras and giraffe gambol between giant sculptures. A giant 85m gramophone designed by Anish Kapoor - the man behind the Chicago Cloudgate - joins 27 other eclectic megasculptures that have seemingly sprung from the landscape.

These impressive artworks were commissioned by Alan Gibbs, the owner of Gibbs Farm and founder of SKY TV New Zealand.

In spite of being just an hour north of Auckland, it remains relatively under the radar.

Catching rays in Gizzy
Just outside of Tairawhiti Gisborne in the shallow waters Dive Tatapouri runs New Zealand's oddest animal encounter.

At low tide in waders, visitors are invited to step onto the reef and interact with wild eagle rays. In spite of some misgivings these Short Tail stingrays and Eagle Rays are perfectly harmless. Something which is soon obvious as they swim around your ankles.

Aotearoa Henge
It might be a bit late to observe the winter solstice, but you can still visit Stonehenge. . . Aotearoa. In Carteron just north of Wellington, you will find a replica of the paleolithic monument which stands in Wiltshire, in the UK.

While little is know about the 5000-year-old henge and how it was built, the New Zealand counterpart took just 2 years to build and was opened by Kiwi Nobel Laureate Alan MacDiarmid in 2005.

[[{"type":"instagram_post_url","src":"https://www.instagram.com/p/B9rJzbsKu0L/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaig...","odtEmbed":true}]]The fifteen year old henge is now running guided star safaris from $15, which use the stones to explore links between the maramataka Māori astrological calendar and star lore from around the world and across millennia.

Stonehenge-aotearoa.co.nz; 06 377 1600.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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