At a cocktail party you’re liable to bump into someone who has seen Big Ben or visited the Eiffel Tower, but you probably won’t find many folks who’ve stood beside the Bra Fence or snapped a picture of the Teakettle Junction shrine. In Cardrona, New Zealand, you can see hundreds of bras blowing in the wind. Near Foxton (another Kiwi town) you can spot a flip flop fence (or jandals as New Zealanders refer to them). In Death Valley, California the remote sign for Teakettle Junction sports, you guessed it, dozens of teakettles from around the world. Here are just three examples of the kinds of wacky and fun roadside eye candy you can see.
The Cardrona (or BRAdrona) Valley Bra Fence in New Zealand
Location: Bradrona can be found alongside the main road near the Cardona Distillery. (The distillery is located at 2125 Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona. Cardrona is situated between Wanaka, which is about 20 minutes away, and Queenstown, which is about a 40 minute drive from Bradrona in New Zealand.)
Cost: Free *Making a donation on site to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation is encouraged.
It’s not uncommon to see things blowing in the wind: leaves, hair, etc., but bras (unless they’re on someone’s clothing line) aren’t what you’d typically expect to see beside a main road. Legend has it that Cardona’s bra fence began adding lingerie to the landscape sometime between 1998 and 1999. It’s not known why the original sets of bras were attached to the fence. For nearly two decades, the town of Cardona has been embroiled in cycles of lingerie removal, press attention about the bra removal and subsequent floods of even more ladies’ undergarments busting out on the fence. Remnants of the original bra fence can be found nearby inside the historic Cardrona Hotel.
In early 2015, the town decided to cheekily rename the bra fence, “Bradrona.” It also installed a formal sign and collection box in order to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation. Almost 20 years after the original bras appeared, it looks like this unique Kiwi collection is here to stay.
Foxton’s Jandal Fence in New Zealand
Location: The Foxton Jandal Fence can be seen as you depart Lake Taupo, New Zealand and head toward Wellington on State Highway 1. The fence is just North of Foxton on State Highway 1.
It started with a few pairs of jandals (or flip flops) four years ago and blossomed into a full fledged footwear explosion. Foxton resident Amanda Howell started the fence by stringing a pair of jandals she won at a bar to the fence in her front yard. The Foxton Jandal Fence continues to grow as a result of donations from visitors and the nearby community. Zip ties can be found in Howell’s mailbox if you’d like to donate a pair of your own to the cause.
The Teakettle Junction Sign in Death Valley, California
Location: You’ll find the Teakettle Junction sign on your way to see the “sailing stones” that rest on Death Valley, California’s Racetrack Playa. The sign is at the junction where the unpaved road from Ubehebe Crater meets the roads that connect on to the Racetrack Playa (16 miles away) and Hunter Mountain (19 miles away). *Please Note: Given the extremely rough gravel road, only 4WD vehicles with high ground clearance should attempt this drive. We hopped a ride with Farabee’s Jeep Rentals during our trip.
Cost: There is a $20 fee for cars, trucks and vans to enter Death Valley National Park. It costs $10 for people traveling on foot, motorcycle or bicycle. The cost of booking a Jeep or Jeep tour is in addition to the National Park Service entrance fee.
It’s no secret that Death Valley, California gets hot. Really hot. Death Valley’s sweltering 134°F (57°C) temperature on July 10, 1913, crushed the record books and certainly made everyone in the park break a sweat. Though it may not get warm enough to boil water, you’d have to hit 212°F (100°C), in order to make that happen, it hasn’t stopped visitors from creating an unlikely shrine to tea in the hottest spot on Earth. It’s not known when the tradition began, but the sign and its teakettle ornaments certainly pour a good dose of humor into an otherwise barren desert.
What weird and wacky collections have you spotted during your travels? Please feel free to share your memories and quirky things you’ve discovered around the planet below.
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