Ohakune’s Adventure Carrot Park has been named a finalist in the 2019 Kiwi Choice Award in the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards – Kiwi Choice category.

The Kiwi Choice Award celebrates a favourite public spot in New Zealand!

Each finalist must demonstrate sustainable and environmentally conscious
behaviours across four key areas – litter prevention and waste minimisation, beautification, recycling and sustainable tourism.

The Ohakune community is very excited that the carrot park has achieved recognition in a major community space award for a second time in a year, Ruapehu District council property team leader Rebecca Van Orden said.

“Earlier this year the carrot park won the Aotearoa NZ Parks Health Park Award. Achieving a second nomination within 12 months highlights how much people are enjoying the park and its value as an asset to the Ohakune community.”

The finalist place was also further recognition of the on-going work and commitment by Ohakune people in creating such a unique, fun public space, she said. The winner will be announced on October 24.

The Adventure Park itself contains a bike track in the park, a playground, and a Mazda carrot car carved out of a log of old-man pine, while information boards about vegetables, Chinese growers and forestry are a homage to the district’s history.

This roadside tribute to Ohakune’s biggest crop was erected in 1984 and quickly became one of NZ’s most hugged ‘Big Things’. Carrots were first grown in the area during the 1920s by Chinese settlers, who cleared the land by hand and explosives. Ohakune now grows two-thirds of the North Island’s total crop. 

At 7.5 metres tall, this is a very large model of the tasty orange vegetable, and has been installed in the same spot since 1984. The Biggest Vegetable in New Zealand was built for a TV commercial for ANZ Bank, and then donated to the town. The area is famed for its farms and carrot production.

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*image courtesy of Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park