If you didn’t know about Opononi’s moment of fame in the summer of 1955–56 when a wild bottlenose dolphin, dubbed “Opo”, started playing with the kids in the shallows and performing tricks with beach balls, you will by the time you leave.

Christmas holidaymakers jammed the narrow dirt roads; film crews were dispatched; protective laws drafted; and Auckland musicians wrote and recorded the novelty song Opo The Crazy Dolphin in a day. Their tape arrived at the radio station for its first airing just as news came in that Opo had been shot under mysterious circumstances. The i-SITE shows a short video in classic 1950s-documentary style, which gives a sense of the frenzied enthusiasm for Opo.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
How to find the right New Zealand for you

How to find the right New Zealand for you

While it may not loom large on the world map, New Zealand feels incredibly vast and imposing on the ground, especially to those who try to visit the North and S…

23 May 2016 • Eric Grossman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month