Cardrona Bra Fence

Cardrona Bra Fence

Nestled in the scenic Cardrona Valley of New Zealand’s South Island, the Cardrona Bra Fence is a unique testament to quirky human behaviour. This unusual landmark started as a random act of fun and has evolved into a symbol of charity and controversy. It attracts thousands of visitors every year. With its mix of humour, community spirit, and philanthropy, the Cardrona Bra Fence tells a fascinating story that’s as colourful as the bras adorning it.

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Cardrona Bra Fence

Where is the Cardrona Bra Fence?

The Cardrona Bra Fence is located along the Cardrona Valley Road, a picturesque route that connects Wanaka and Queenstown. This area is known for its stunning landscapes, with rolling hills, rugged mountains, and lush greenery providing a beautiful backdrop. The road itself is a famous drive for tourists. It offers breathtaking views and a chance to explore the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. Nearby, the Cardrona Alpine Resort offers skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer, making the area a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

The History of the Cardrona Bra Fence

The Origin

The story of the Cardrona Bra Fence begins in late 1998 or early 1999. No one knows who started it, but four bras mysteriously appeared on a fence along the road. The bras attracted attention, and more were added by passing travellers. Over time, the number of bras grew, and the fence became a local curiosity. This spontaneous act captured the imaginations of locals and visitors alike, turning a simple farm fence into a symbol of freedom and fun. The mystery of the first bras adds to the allure as people speculate about who might have been the original contributors and why they chose this particular fence.

Dislike and Traffic Hazards

Despite its quirky charm, not everyone was pleased with the bra-covered fence. Some locals and authorities saw it as an eyesore and a potential traffic hazard. Drivers slowing down to view the fence caused safety concerns on the narrow, winding road. Additionally, some felt that the bras were inappropriate and detracted from the natural beauty of the Cardrona Valley. The tension between the fence’s supporters and detractors highlighted differing views on what constitutes acceptable public art and the balance between humour and decorum in a community setting.

Bras on the fence

The Removal of Bras

On several occasions, the bras were removed by authorities or disapproving locals. However, each time the bras were taken down, more appeared. This back-and-forth between removal and replacement continued for years, highlighting the fence’s polarising nature. Each removal spurred a community response, with locals and tourists rallying to restore the bras, often with even greater enthusiasm. This ongoing tug-of-war demonstrated many people’s strong attachment to the fence and their determination to keep it alive as a symbol of their community spirit.

Moving to Its Current Location

To address safety concerns and maintain the landmark, the bra fence was eventually moved to a safer location. It now resides on a private driveway about 100 metres from its original location. This move was a strategic decision to preserve the fence while ensuring the safety of road users. The new location provides ample parking and easier access, allowing visitors to take their time and enjoy the fence without disrupting traffic.

Cardrona Bra Fence

Tourist Attraction or Controversy?

A Unique Attraction

The Cardrona Bra Fence has become a popular tourist attraction. Visitors from around the world come to see the fence and add their bras to the collection. The colourful display against the backdrop of the Cardrona Valley makes for a memorable photo opportunity. Local businesses have capitalised on the fence’s popularity, selling postcards, souvenirs, and even specially designed bras for visitors to add to the display. The fence has become a must-see stop for roadtrippers exploring the South Island.

Ongoing Controversy

Despite its popularity, the bra fence remains controversial. Some locals still view it as a nuisance, and debates about its appropriateness continue. Concerns about litter, environmental impact, and the message the fence sends about public decency are frequently raised. However, the fence’s unique charm and the good it has done for charity have helped it endure. Community meetings and discussions often revolve around balancing maintaining the fence as a landmark and addressing the concerns of those who oppose it. This ongoing debate ensures that the fence remains a dynamic and evolving part of the local cultural landscape.

Bradrona

Bradrona: Raising Money for Breast Cancer

In an effort to channel the fence’s popularity into a positive cause, the “Bradrona” initiative was launched. This campaign raises money for breast cancer research and support. Visitors are encouraged to donate to the cause when they visit the fence, and informational signs provide details about how to contribute. The initiative has transformed the fence from a quirky roadside attraction into a powerful symbol of hope and solidarity. The success of Bradrona has shown how a simple, spontaneous act can grow into a force for good, uniting people in the fight against breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ

Conclusion

The Cardrona Bra Fence is more than just a quirky roadside attraction; it’s a symbol of community, charity, and the playful spirit of New Zealand. Whether you see it as an eyesore or a piece of art, there’s no denying its impact. As it continues to draw tourists and raise money for a good cause, the Cardrona Bra Fence remains a fascinating chapter in the story of the Cardrona Valley. Its evolution from a mysterious prank to a beloved landmark reflects the creativity and resilience of the local community. The Cardrona Bra Fence stands as a testament to the idea that even the simplest actions can lead to meaningful change and lasting impact.

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Cardrona Bra Fence
Cardrona Bra Fence
Cardrona Bra Fence

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28 Responses

  1. When I opened the post, I was shocked by the first pic! I had zero clue on such an attraction exists in the world – Thanks for the detailed information and minute details. It was fun reading ths

  2. What a fantastic article; I agree with your conclusion! Bradrona has shown how a simple, spontaneous act can grow into a force for good, uniting people in the fight against breast cancer. I have 2 family members who had breast cancer. We need to do everything possible to raise awareness.

    1. Breast cancer affects so many and I have also had family impacted by it. Hoping your family members are well.

  3. I think it is fabulous! And now that there is a tub for donations for breast cancer, it is even better. I do understand the danger of “people slowing down to view the bra fence” and think it is great that a solution was found.

  4. It was fascinating to read about the Cardrona Bra Fence. Definitely a very different attraction on New Zealand’s South Island. I can see why locals might not find it as interesting. Good to know it was moved to a spot for easier and safer viewing.

    1. I definitely think they have turned something that was controversial into something for good.

  5. This is one of the more unusual attractions I’ve heard of. Love that it’s been turned into a fundraiser.

  6. I used to pass this fence all the time on our way up to Snow Park (no longer there) in the winter. It always brought a smile to my face.

  7. Loool I have to admit, we drove past this on the way from Wanaka to Queenstown, and we were soooo confused! It is fab to see that it now raises money for charity. It is such a quirky, fun area to visit. 🙂

    1. Thanks! While I can see both sides, I think that the moving of the fence is a great compromise.

  8. What a fun attraction! I love quirky sights like this when we visit place! I especially love that you can donate to charity too. Thanks for sharing this gem!

  9. This made me smile! I love that the bra fence raises money for charity too. There was a similar idea at the side of the ski slope in Vail: the bra tree. People threw bras into the tree from the lift and it was always a bit of fun. Unfortunately, it has got out of hand a bit and now there are bra trees in every ski resort in Colorado – and the underwear is not always restricted to bras!

    1. Wow, the bra tree and further underwear is definitely different! I agree that it being confined to the bra fence has made it the attraction it is.

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