10 of NZ’s Best Manmade Landmarks for International Students to Visit

Thursday, July 16, 2020

10 of NZ's Best Manmade Landmarks for International Students to Visit

Following on from our natural landmarks blog, these are ten iconic places in Aotearoa that have been made by human hands and technology and stand-out for all the right reasons.

1. The Beehive and Parliament House

The grounds of Parliament House are open to the public and there are four buildings in Wellington that house NZ’s Parliament. The Beehive (also known as the Executive Wing) and the Parliament House are the most well-known landmarks of the four, (the others are Bowen House and the Parliamentary Library). The Parliament House was first occupied in 1918 (the previous building was destroyed by a fire in 1907). The building was renovated and strengthened in 1991, with Parliament once-again reoccupying the buildings in 1996. In 1979 building began on the Beehive and was completed in 1981, after the original design was drawn-up by architect Sir Basil Spence.

2. The Sky Tower
This 328m tall structure is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere and the 27th tallest in the world. The tower doesn’t just provide fantastic views of Auckland, it also serves the public, with the 360-degree rotating The Sugar Club restaurant on Level 53, as well as the SkyWalk/SkyJump for an adrenaline rush. Above that, the spire is also used for telecommunications and broadcasting, with the world’s largest single FM radio transmitter (as well as wireless internet, TV broadcasts, mobile networks and weather measuring facilities). The tower also has 60 LED lights at the top and 96 LED lights at the base – it lights up many times over the year to show support for a range of events and charities (i.e. Rainbow – Pride, Red with Poppy projection – ANZAC Day, Pink – Breast Cancer Awareness Week/Mother’s Day and Red/Green – Christmas).

3. Chateau Tongariro
Since 1929 this Chateau has provided guests with incredible access to Tongariro National Park (16km away from the Tongariro crossing trailhead) and NZ’s largest ski area, Whakapapa (7km from the skifield). This four-star hotel offers amazing views of the surrounding landscape and mountains, as well as accommodation, restaurants, bars, conference facilities, a sauna and indoor pool.

4. Larnach Castle
NZ’s only Castle was built in 1871 and since 1967 has been owned by the Barker family and is open to the public as a tourist attraction. The Castle was designated a New Zealand landmark by Heritage NZ in 2018. You can also spend the night in the Larnach Lodge & Stable Stay, which is located within the Castle grounds and opened in 2010. Take a stroll through the gardens, tour the Castle itself and head up to the roof.

5. Vector Wero Whitewater Park
From kayaking to white water rafting and a choice of rapids or lake activities, this whitewater park has quickly become a prominent Auckland landmark since construction was completed on the venue in 2016. The $25million park has a 22 million litre pond, which feeds two courses (one short, one long). There is also a pump station, which “is capable of delivering simultaneous water flows of 14m3/s to the grade four course, and 10m3/s to the grade two course with an additional 2m3/s to operate a raft-able 4.5 metre high waterfall”[1] (the highest artificial rafted waterfall in the world).

6. Cape Egmont Lighthouse
This lighthouse was built in London in the mid-1800’s and shipped to NZ in 1865, starting life on Mana Island, North of Wellington. However, after several shipping accidents the spot was deemed unsatisfactory and so the lighthouse was dismantled and carried in sections to its new home at Cape Egmont in 1881. The lighthouse shone again in its new home on 1 August 1881. The lighthouse had a keeper until 1986, and it has been fully automated since then. You can find it on the Western-most point of Taranaki’s coast, 50km South-West of the town of New Plymouth. You can also drive 10 minutes north to find a replica, built in 2005, which houses the Historic Cape and Light Museum. Here you can see the lamp that powered the lighthouse until 1999.

7. Hokitika Clock Tower
The Westland South African War and Coronation Memorial Clock Tower that stands in the middle of Hokitika township has stood since 1903 and is a memorial to soldiers that lost their lives in the Boer war. The clock was also constructed to honour the coronation of Edward VII, who was King of the UK from 1901-1910. You can also stop-by at the nearby Clocktower Café for a great view of the tower while you eat!

8. Auckland Ferry Terminal
This Edwardian Baroque style building was first constructed in 1912 and was renovated in 1986. This landmark is a crucial part of Auckland’s transport system and stands out on the Auckland waterfront. The terminal caters for ferries across Auckland that are travelling to and from; Waiheke, Gulf Harbour, Rakino Island, Pine Harbour, West Harbour, Hobsonville, Beach Haven, Birkenhead, Northcote, Bayswater, Stanley Bay, Devonport and Half Moon Bay.

9. Lyttleton Timeball Station

The heritage-registered building is a prominent local landmark and the original stood from 1876 until 2011, when damage by earthquakes and aftershocks it sustained in 2010 and 2011 built-up and it collapsed in 2011. It was rebuilt in 2017-2018 and was reopened to the public that same year. This landmark is found in Lyttleton harbour and can be seen on the hill, an obsolete method of enabling navigators aboard ships offshore to verify the setting of their marine chronometers/clocks/time of day. This timeball drops at 1pm everyday so keep an eye out if you are in the Christchurch area!

10. Stone Store and Kemp House, Kerikeri Mission Station
Two of NZ’s oldest European buildings are in Kerikeri, located across from each other on the same land area. The Stone Store was built in 1832 and is NZ’s oldest stone building, across from it stands Kemp House, NZ’s oldest wooden building, and it was completed in 1821/22. Both are Georgian-style houses, with the Stone Store very versatile in its use; it started as a Missionary Society warehouse but was also used as a trading post, library, barracks and boys’ school over the years. It was also a general store, and it currently serves that purpose, with a gift shop on the lower level. On the upper levels you can visit the museum displays. Kemp House has been kept in the same state since its building was completed by missionary carpenters and Māori sawyers, and has been preserved inside as well. The Kemp family and its descendants continued to live in the house until 1974, when the land was bought by the Historic Places Trust in 1976. The area is highly valued as a key site of Māori and European meetings, with the Kororipo Pā a short walk away. 

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