The fence started in 1999 sometime between Christmas and New Years Eve, when four bras were discovered hanging on the fence. Rumors stated that a group of women decided to welcome the new year in a rather humorous manner in hotel Cardrona.
The scene afterward pushed other women to leave their bras on the fence as well, and by the end of 2000, there were over 60 bras on the fence in addition to the original four.
As the fence became more and more popular bra numbers have increased to reach thousands throughout the years until the fence became a tourism attraction site. There have been several attempts to remove it as some considered it embarrassing, while others called it a threat to drivers.
The first attempt to stop this trend was two months after the original bras appeared and the second one was in 2006 by Queenstown Lakes District council who stripped and removed around 1500 bras from the fence, even so, the fence regained its collection again to have the longest bra chain.
Later that year with the second attempt to remove the bras, local media networks covered the event, Also some international press agencies flew to New Zealand to cover the event.
Although the number of bras decreased by 100,000 it still holds the world record, and it has also helped the local community a lot by raising money for charity purposes.
The fence sometimes is subjected to vandalism every now and then, the bras always reappear.
Journalists came from all over the world to cover the fence’s story. One Finnish journalist went to the south of the island to cover the bra fence story after many reports caught her attention, as well as the main german tv channels which made a show about the bra fence in addition to several newspapers and magazines worldwide.
This response and international coverage turned the fence into a tourist attraction, drawing them from all over the world to participate in the growing tradition and leave their undergarments on the famous fence.
The famous bra fence has always been subjected to harsh criticism, some of the locals have even expressed their anger about its existence due to cultural reasons.
Nevertheless, no one can deny its major role in refreshing the tourism industry in the area and supporting the local population. The bra fence (though not appreciated by many) helped developing the local community by raising thousands of dollars in charity fundraisers, mostly for childlren medical care.
A local bar has gone as far as naming one of the drinks after it, and one could even get a dollar in exchange for hanging their bra on a “mini” bra fence created on a wall outside the bar.