New Zealand’s funny little small towns!

So we all know that the Stray bus company are the experts when it comes to getting you ‘off the beaten track’ and into the wild outdoors.
And they promise that they’ll let you off the bus anywhere you want to – as long as it’s close to – or just off the main routes.
Well here’s a side of New Zealand that maybe doesn’t get as much publicity – off the beaten track of the already relatively unbeaten track, but which is surely just as worthy of a visit:
New Zealand’s funny little small towns! Each of them having its claim to fame and being the ‘capital’ of something or other! So why not jump out that bus and spend a bit more time when you’re close to:
Kerikeri - Orange capital
Dargaville – Kumara capital
Pukekohe – Motorsport capital (large immigrant Indian population, lots of vegetable growing)
*untly – Ugliest Town/’Crapital’ (centre of coal industry; c’mon, it’s boring just to see the beautiful side of NZ!)
Ngaruawahia - Maori capital (seat of Maori royalty)
Whangamata – Surfing capital (summer resort town)
Paeroa - L&P town (famous local soft drink)
Katikati – Mural capital (interesting wall paintings, bird gardens)
Te Puke – Kiwifruit capital –of the world! (good place for backpackers to find a summer job!)
Hamilton – Burglary/Crime/Events (also nice university town! great gardens)
Cambridge – ‘Town of Trees & Champions’ (referring to the horse industry based there)
Raglan – Surf capital (compare Whangamata)
Opotiki - Rodeo capital
Whakatane – Yellow Fin Tuna/Kiwi/Sunshine capital (apparently you can hear kiwi birds at night in the town!)
Kawerau – Newsprint and Paper capital
Tokoroa – Timber Town (Maori carving, totem poles, forestry centre)
Taupo – Trout Fishing capital (but famous enough already!)
Whangaroa – Marlin capital (also known through the film ‘the Whale Rider’)
Te Awamutu – Rose capital (and home of famous bands Split Enz and Crowded House)
Gisborne – Chardonnay/Clapital (STD) capital
Tirau - Corrugated capital!
Te Kuiti - Sheep Shearing capital
Otorohanga – Kiwiana capital (Kiwi culture)
Inglewood – Murder capital (at least historically)
New Plymouth – Energy capital (important nearby natural gas and oil fields, also good surfing!)
Hastings – Youth Violence/future Cycling & Walking capital (and lots of horticulture – summer backpacking jobs!)
Napier – Wine & Fruit capital/Art Deco capital
Ohakune – Carrot capital (and winter ski resort)
Waiouru – Army town (attention foreign intelligence)
Taihape – Gumboot capital (seriously)
Turangi – Trout Fishing capital (& gateway to National Park)
Dannevirke – Viking capital (founded by Scandinavian settlers)
Palmerston North – Suicide capital (according to comedian John Cleese; residents weren’t pleased about this)
Carterton – Daffodil capital (they had to think of something!)
Martinborough – Pinot Noir capital (where Wellington’s wealthy like to go)
Nelson – Sunshine capital (and something of a hippie town!)
Blenheim – Wine/Sauvignon capital
Kaikoura – Crayfish/Whale-Watching capital
Christchurch – Home of Drum n Bass…/Racism capital (it seems most of NZ’s neo-nazis live here)
Rakaia – Salmon capital
Ashburton – Grain Growing capital
Havelock – Mussel capital
Hokitika – Jade capital (that’s ‘pounamu’ in Maori)
Naseby – Curling capital
Te Anau – Walking/Hiking capital of the World! (gateway to Fiordland’s amazing walks)
Cromwell – Cherry/Stonefruit capital
Oamaru – Penguin capital (also a quiet retreat for arty types…)
Queenstown – Extreme Sports/Adventure/Bungee capital
Tuatapere is the sausage capital!
Dunedin (& Otago Peninsula) – Wildlife capital (and famous student town…)
InverGiggle – cheap education
Gore – Country Music/Brown Trout fishing
Bluff – Oyster capital
The real political capital of New Zealand was moved from Russell to Auckland in 1841, then to Wellington in 1865.

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