New Zealand is an extremely beautiful country, situated in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It comprises of two large islands, namely North Island and South Island, and a number of smaller islands (including Stewart Island/Rakiura and Chatham Islands). The country is famous amongst the nature lovers, owing to its breathtaking landscapes, luxuriant forests, gushing rivers, placid lakes, glacial mountains, thermal regions, semi tropical islands and exotic wildlife. The architectural heritage and adventure opportunities offered by the country only add its attraction. In short, New Zealand is totally a tourist’s delight. In the following lines, we have mentioned a number of fun and interesting facts about the country.
Image: By David Briody from Edinburgh, Scotland (Tasman Valley (by Lesley)) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Interesting Facts about New Zealand
- The indigenous Maori name of New Zealand is ‘New Zealand Aotearoa’. Translated into English, it means ‘New Zealand, The Land of the Long White Cloud’.
- New Zealand gained independence from Great Britain in the year 1907.
- New Zealand is located in the Oceania Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies around 1500 km to the south-east of Australia.
- New Zealand is part of 'The Pacific Rim of Fire'. Mount Ruapehu, situated in central North Island, is the most active volcano of the country.
- New Zealand is spread over an area of approximately 268,021 sq km and its coastline is around 15,134 km long.
- The official languages of New Zealand are English and Te Reo Maori.
- New Zealand was the first democracy in the West that gave women the right to vote.
- As far as the geography of New Zealand is concerned, 30 percent comprises of forests.
- Bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand.
- Dunedin city of New Zealand boast of housing the country’s oldest university, first newspaper and first botanical gardens.
- Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mt Everest, was a citizen of New Zealand.
- New Zealand Dollar (NZ$) is amongst the least stable currencies in the OECD.
- New Zealand has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world, with 2.5 million cars for 4 million people.
- New Zealand has won the most Olympic gold medals, per capita, amongst all the participant countries.
- New Zealand is amongst the top five dairy exporters in the world. Combined with the other four biggest exporters, it supplies around 90 percent of dairy products on the international market.
- New Zealand is home to the largest flightless parrot (kakapo), oldest reptile (tuatara), biggest earthworms, smallest bats, heaviest insect (a weta), some of the oldest trees and many rarest species birds, insects, and plants, in the world.
- New Zealand, before European arrival, had no predatory animals. Thus, it was like a heaven for birds, many of them flightless.
- The share of New Zealand in the world exports of sheep meat is around 54 percent.
- To become a New Zealand citizen, you must swear an oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth.