Our List of 11 Quirky Places to Visit in NZ for International Students

Thursday, March 12, 2020

This is our list of the strange and curious places that New Zealand has to offer. Visit them, experience the fun, sometimes bizarre activities on offer and meet the interesting people behind each place.


Neko Ngeru Cat Adoption Café – Petone, Wellington

Taking the Japanese and Māori names for cat and combining them to create the Cat Cat Cat Adoption Café, this adorable establishment is available to visit for $10 an hour for students. It’s a great place to relax and spend some time de-stressing in between your study schedule, lectures and/or after school classes. The cats that you meet in the café are given different titles; student cats are kittens or young cats learning to behave around humans, professor cats stay at the café and teach the new cats how to behave and graduated cats are cats that have been adopted!


Puzzling World – Wanaka

Now operating for over forty-five years, ‘Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World’ in Wanaka has been mystifying and delighting guests, attracting up to 250,000 people a year! There are multiple attractions, including; The Sculptillusion Gallery, The Leaning Tower of Wanaka, Optical Illusion Rooms and 3D Maze.


Hundertwasser/Kawakawa Public Toilets – Kawakawa

It usually wouldn’t be an activity for a list, nor would we usually encourage people to take time out of their day to admire toilets, however these toilets are an exception to the rule. Designed by world famous artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser for his final project in the town where he spent his last years, these toilets were opened in 1999, shortly before Hundertwasser passed away in 2000. The men’s and women’s toilets are spilt by a tree which grows through the centre of the building, while recycled bottles, tiles and brick make up the rest of the structure.


Carlucciland – Wellington

Strange metallic creations and rock sculptures of all shapes and sizes dot the landscape around this mini golf course, created by artist Carl Gifford along Wellington’s Happy Valley road. For just $12 you can enjoy an 18-hole mini golf experience like no other as you play through sculptures, hidden passages and around trees of a ‘junkyard’ themed course.


The Kumara Box – Dargaville

Ever wanted to ride a Kumara train, take a trip to a Kumara museum or learn more about New Zealand’s sweet potato? Even if you didn’t want to, this is a truly unique experience that should be experienced for yourself. Enjoy owner Ernie’s one-hour Kumara-themed live show ($20), take a farm train tour ($10), visit Searle’s marine collection ($10) and/or stay overnight in the camper van park ($10 per van).


Sheepworld – Warkworth

To see pink sheep, as well as a one-hour presentation on sheep farming in NZ, this is the place to come. New Zealand has been known to be the place where sheep far outweigh the people, and if you want to find out why, this is the best place to learn about it.


Steampunk HQ – Oamaru

Founded in 2011 and housed inside the “Grain Elevator”, which was built in 1883, this is a celebration of all things alternative 19th century England, a look at society if steam-powered technology had shaped all machines.


Claphams National Clock Museum – Whangarei

For just $8 you can enjoy a visit to the craziest collection of clocks in the Southern Hemisphere. Moving eyeball clocks, cuckoo clocks, clock toys, grandfather clocks, and much more, they are all here to see!


Teapot Land – Owaka

Located on Owaka’s main road, this unique attraction was made by Owaka local Graham Renwick over 15 years ago and has become extremely popular with passers-by as he has added to his collection. His wide range of teapots (the number is written on the blackboard on the way in) is truly weird and inspirational at the same time. Treat the pots with respect, you can put NZ$ coins or cash in the koha (donation) teapot provided and snap photos to your hearts content.


Natural Flames – Murchison

Walk through a beautiful bush and be rewarded with pancakes cooked on natural gas, drenched in local honey. Learn the history of how this wonderful place and discover what makes the fires burn without spreading.


Demolition World - Invercargill

At every demolition there are things classed as too beautiful or unique to destroy – these often end up at sites like demolition world. There are plenty of recycled building supplies available for purchase and a historic village made from demolition site materials to wander around.


Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand. As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.