Monday, 2 February 2015

Good Facts About New Zealand

1. The kea, a bird native to NZ, is known for pulling windscreen wipers off cars and eating the strips of rubber from windows.

2. The longest place name in the world is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, a hill in Hawkes Bay.

3. No part of the country is more than 128km (79 miles) from the sea.

4. In the scene of Star Trek: First Contact, where we see Earth from space, Australia and Papua New Guinea are clearly visible but New Zealand is missing.

5. Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world.

6. Only 5% of NZ’s population is human- the rest are animals.

7. NZ is the least corrupt nation in the world (tied with Denmark), according to the Corruptions Perception Index.

8. New Zealand has more Scottish pipe bands per capita than any other country in the world.

9. Blue Lake, in Nelson Lakes National Park, has the clearest water in the world.

10. New Zealand is home to the world’s smallest dolphin species.

11. There are no land snakes, native or introduced, in NZ.

12. New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.

13. In 2008, TripAdvisor named Milford Sound (pictured below) the world’s top travel destination, based on an international survey.

14. Organised commercial bungee jumping first began in New Zealand.

15. The first man to climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi.

16. The lowest denomination in NZ currency is the 10 cent piece.

17. More people die in New Zealand each year playing lawn bowls than scuba diving.

18. NZ is home to more species of penguins than any other country.

19. In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.

20. Auckland is one of the most affordable cities in the world to live in.

21. One in three Auckland households own a boat.

22. The Māori name for NZ, Aoetaroa, means ‘land of the long white cloud’.

23. In 2013, NZ legalised same-sex marriage.

24. Lake Taupo was formed by a supervolcanic eruption 26,000 years ago. The dust from the eruption could be seen in modern day China.

25. New Zealand is home to the giant weta, the heaviest insect in the world. It is heavier than a sparrow and looks like a giant cockroach.

26. Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, is the world’s steepest street. The road has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38 per cent grade.

27. 15% of NZ’s population are Māori.

28. New Zealand is similar in size to the UK, but only has a population of about 4 million (compared to 63 million in the UK).

29. About one third of the country is protected national park.

30. NZ was voted the world’s best country in 2007 and 2008 by Wanderlust magazine.

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