Day 31: Quirky Towns in NZ

New Zealand has no shortage of quirky towns and you’ll find yourself looking quizzically confused upon entering many of the places along our roads. Things that would seem just odd and bizarre in the U.S. seem perfectly at home here. One of these is in a town called Tirau — TripAdvisor says that the 2nd best of the 7 things to do in the town of Tirau is to visit the dog and sheep shaped corrugated metal buildings.

The #1 best thing to do in Tirau (the name means Many Cabbage Trees in Maori) is to kayak to see the glow worms which explains why the metal buildings only came in second. Tirau only has about 700 residents and is located at the crossroads of State Highway 1 and State Highway 5. Driving into town inevitably causes someone in the car to say something to the effect of “oh, it’s the dog and sheep town”.


So yes, the dog and sheep shaped corrugated metal buildings are just what they sound like. Apparently the town started a form of art that involves using discarded corrugated iron to create artistic buildings.The buildings were created by a man named Stephen Clothier who has made many corrugated works in NZ and has his own company called Corrugated Creations. The kiwi picture here comes from their website.


The building shaped like a sheep has a wool and craft store in it and the one shaped like a dog has the Information Center of the town which has a small gift shop as well. There’s also a nice little coffee shop semi-attached to the dog. I think you can go inside either building but I’ve only been in the dog. You know you have something good going when a website called ‘The Grumpy Old Limey’ includes you in a list of strange buildings.

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