69 Interesting Facts About New Zealand

Last updated on September 9th, 2017

#43: Russell Crowe, an acclaimed Hollywood actor of movies like The Insider, Les Misérables, and American Gangsters, is actually a citizen of New Zealand. His ace acting also earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

#44: Most of the early European settlers of New Zealand were actually convicts serving jail term in Britain. Her Majesty decided to relieve them off their sentence, to colonize more land and packed them off to a lifelong vacation to the Maori land. It was a win-win situation for all, except for the Maori people, who were forced to eat the invaders in a bid to scare them off.

#45: The small population of New Zealand produced three Nobel laureates all of them related to chemistry and biology. A nice choice for such an organic place.

#46: The Hatepe eruption in New Zealand was so great that the skies in China and Rome turned red. It formed a huge crater in the region and today it is known as Lake Taupo.

Wildlife

#47: New Zealand isolation nurtured an extremely rich biodiversity, which was a melting pot of a plethora of species. But the subsequent arrival of humans to the islands wiped out the entire population of many species. The list is long but a three most prominent species are Auckland Islands merganser, Chatham Islands penguin and New Zealand quail.

#48: If Australia has the iconic flightless bird emu, New Zealand answered back with its native flightless bird Moa. Sadly, both are extinct because of their crappy genes.

#49: The namesake of New Zealand’s people is Kiwi. A flightless, innocent bird that also happens to be almost blind. Though the size of a chicken, it’s an expert in the field of laying eggs. It holds the peerless record of laying the largest egg, relative to its body size.

#50: Kakapo, only found in New Zealand, is not only the world’s only flightless parrot but also the largest one. It natural to wonder why most birds in New Zealand are flightless. The answer is; they never evolved wings, as the islands were isolated for thousands of years. When other bird-eating species did come, along with human migration, they became easy prey and were wiped out of existence.

#51: Though the Twin Islands are a paradise for reptiles, New Zealand is a country with no snakes. Of course, there are a few in the sea but you can safely lie on land, without the fear of one. The government actually has an ongoing anti-snake policy, to safeguard its fragile ecosystem.

#52: 1/3 of the land in NZ is protected by the Government for its rich biodiversity.

#53: The Land of the Long White Cloud is the only land which originally didn’t have any mammals, except bats.

#54: A special kind of seal found in the southern island has a nice coating of fur and is called the fur seal. Another rare tourism treat of the southern coast is the Sperm Whale watching. The annual migration of these gigantic mammals takes them to the shores of New Zealand.

#55: New Zealand is the greatest place to be born as a humble sheep. While many animals died pathetically and sank to the bottom of history, the sheep didn’t sink. Currently, it has 4 million people and 40 million sheep. Hollywood, should consider making a movie called “The planet of the apes….err… sheep.”

#56: Speaking of Hollywood, the American cinema giant frequently uses New Zealand as its filming backyard. The Lord of the rings, King Kong, The chronicles of Narnia, The adventures of Tintin: The secret of the unicorn, the piano, Avatar and The Hobbit trilogy….all were filmed here yet, most of New Zealand remain unchartered.

New Zealand’s Geographical facts

#57: New Zealand also nests the world’s cleanest natural fresh water lake. Blue Lake (Tasman) is so clear that the water has a faint blue-violet natural color to it, only found in laboratory prepared distilled water.

#58: Te Waikoropupu Springs or the Pupu Springs is a spiritually significant water-body, famous for its clear and pristine water. The horizontal visibility of 63 meters makes it second only to Antarctic glaciers.

Interesting facts about New Zealand: Map
New Zealand map

#59: Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is the nearest capital to the south-pole.

#60: The Milford Sound was named the world’s top travel destination in 2008, by Trip Advisor.

#61: Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, New Zealand is the world’s steepest street. For every 2.86 meters you travel on the road, you gain or lose 1 meter of vertical length, making the slope 19 degrees.

#62: New Zealand was the last major landmass to be populated, and most of it remain untouched by humans.

#63: New Zealand is literally the tip of an iceberg, or rather a submerged continent. The Zealandia is an entire underwater continent; the only part above water is the country of New Zealand.

#64: The Kiwi Fruit is the only thing that has a kiwi name but is not native to NZ. It is actually endemic to China.

New Zealand’s Culture facts

#65: The Taonga pūoro was and remains the traditional musical instrument of the Maori People. It’s shaped like a whale tooth and made from is made from timber, bones and pounamu (greenstone). It was used both during wars and prayers to God.

#66: The Maori people were obsessed with canoes. They soon converted the trees of New Zealand into the largest war canoes in history, the Waka.

#67: The Kapa – Haka is a traditional Maori war cry and dance that New Zealand’s official rugby team shows off during the start of any match.

#68: The Maori people have a strong sense of culture. They have their distinct music called Waiata. They also used a unique form of cooking, by the use of hot stones, called Hangi.

#69: New Zealand has a long culture of tattoos before it was cool. The Maori tattoo locally called moko was painted on the skin, with a chiseled bone and a red natural gum.

New Zealand  – country at a glance

Independence26 September 1907 (from the UK)
Capital CityWellington
(41°17′S 174°27′E)
Largest CityAuckland
(6.8406° S, 174.7400° E)
Total area268,838 sq km
Population4,474,549 (July 2016 est.)
Official Language95.9% English
4.2% Māori
0.6% NZ Sign Language
BordersIsland country
CurrencyNew Zealand dollar ($) (NZD)
ReligionChristianity
Life expectancy81.2 Years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatetemperate with sharp regional contrasts
Terrainpredominately mountainous with large coastal plains
Natural resourcesnatural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone
Agricultural land43.2%
Birth rate13.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Literacy rate99%
Government typeparliamentary democracy (New Zealand Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralDame Patsy Reddy
Prime MinisterBill English
National symbolSouthern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars), kiwi (bird), silver fern
DemonymNew Zealander
Kiwi (informal)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
National colorsblack, white, red (ochre)
National anthem"God Defend New Zealand"
Industriesagriculture, forestry, fishing, logs and wood articles, manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, real estate services, tourism
Exports$31.96 billion (2016 est.)
dairy products, meat and edible offal, logs and wood articles, fruit, crude oil, wine
Imports$34.83 billion (2016 est.)
petroleum and products, mechanical machinery, vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, textiles
GDP - per capita (PPP)$37,100 (2016 est.)
Time ZoneNZST (UTC+12)
Summer (DST)
NZDT (UTC+13)
Internet country code.nz
Calling Code+64
Drives on theLeft
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedAugust 26, 2017

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