21 Fun Facts and Figures – New Zealand

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Kuirau Park, Rotorua
Kuirau Park, Rotorua

New Zealand, that’s two islands and 268,021 km2 of pure natural beauty: they have Alps (although they are called Southern Alps) and a frankly massive volcanic plateau. The locals call themselves Kiwis, which by the way is also a flightless bird native to the country) and are a friendly bunch of immigrated Europeans and Māori… New Zealand is all this, and a lot more! Here are the Fun Facts and Figures about New Zealand

Fun Facts and Figures – New Zealand

1. Every part of the country is less than 128km (79 miles) from the sea away.

2. Mt Tongariro, in the volcanic zone on the North Island consists of at least 12 cones… it was also part of the epic movie set where scenes at Mordor in Lord of the Rings was filmed!

The Blue Lake, Tongariro National Park

3. Although, its big sister Australia is home to some of the most dangerous animal species in the world, New Zealand has not really a say in that matter. Put “dangerous animals NZ” into Google search and all you might find are 3 species of spiders… but they are so rare that seeing one of them is mainly interpreted as great luck. By the way, there are no land snakes, native or introduced, in New Zealand.

4. NZ is home to more species of penguins than any other country. The smallest one, called Eudyptula Minor is a tiny lad of about 33 cm height.

5. Locals are terrified of Wetas, some of the worlds biggest but harmless insects. Peter Jackson for example, has a Weta phobia. But knowing that the giant Weta is the heaviest insect in the world (it’s the size of a small bird & weights 70 gr) and looks like a giant cockroach… I would most definitely NOT be very amused to cross one of those dudes!

6. In the North Island every road leads to Hamilton… wherever you are there’s always a road sign indicating the distance to this city, also called Kirikiriroa in Māori.

Every part of the country is less than 128km (79 miles) from the sea away. Click To Tweet

7. Speaking of Māori, 15% of NZ’s population are Māori.

8. New Zealand’s police are the friendliest police in the world. They almost apologize when writing out a speeding ticket… But be aware: not paying the ticket is not an option! Unpaid tickets will be sent to your home, even if it takes 6 months and 18.000 km to reach you. (The address is written in such an extravagant way that it really is a miracle that the mail reaches destination!)

9. For the Kiwis, everything is AWE-SOME. Ordering a coffee is awesome, telling them where you’re from is AWE-SOME, loving their country is AWE-SOME… even excusing yourself for a visit to the loo is AWE-SOME! If you travel to NZ you’ll hear that word in all variations of tones that are possible to emit. AWESOME!

10. To get more publicity and sponsorships, the Kiwi badminton team decided to nickname itself  ‘The Black Cocks’. Subsequently, they got sponsorships from condom companies, but after a year, they had to change it due to complaints.

11. You can’t really say the country is overly populated. Perhaps that’s biased by those vast green stretches that extend over long distances or by the fact that almost 3/4 of the New Zealanders went to live in Australia.

12. New Zealand is ranked 27th in global beer consumption per head. 64.7 litres per person per annum. New Zealand is also home to some 150 smaller and micro craft breweries. Funny and funky labels are their signature look.

Craft Beer

13. There are View Points everywhere throughout the country. But I guess, that’s easy when the whole country is literally a natural park!

14. New Zealanders have a very peculiar accent. For example, they have the same intonation for the words “day” and “die” so it’s a bit bewildering when they speak about “Father’s day”!… Got it?

15. Air New Zealand is the best air company in the whole world. The safety recommendations before take off are not given by the flight attendants, but by the All Blacks team slung to the tune of “Men in black”. Quite refreshing!

16. The country has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world. Believe me, you will see and hear them everywhere!

17. If you go on a road trip, you might see road signs displaying a curve with a number on it. Those are advisory speed limit signs. They recommend the speed you with which you can safely take the next turn. That’s just genius!

18. Rugby to the New Zealanders is like Football to the Italians… Just massively followed by everyone!

19. For several decades New Zealand has had a debate whether to change their national flag, to differentiate it from the Australian flag and to acknowledge the country’s Māori heritage. The flag referendums, held in 2015 and 2016, resulted in the retention of the current flag… Apparently, the enthusiasm of the locals on that matter was moderate to non-existent.

20. But hey, New Zealand is one of the few countries to have two national anthems. “God Save The Queen” and “God Defend New Zealand”. The latter is more commonly used and has both English and Māori lyrics.

21. What struck me most about New Zealand and its inhabitants, was their great sense of humor!

Funny advert for a dentist

All in all New Zealand is a fab country and the perfect holiday destination for nature lovers and road trip aficionados. While exploring and enjoying the vast natural reserves, you just might come across a few uncommon things that will most certainly put a smile on your face.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. What’s most surprising is that the dangerous animals are hard to find! Everyone always says that it’s dangerous to camp out or go on survival treks because you might get bitten or something. Really happy to hear its not the case as that’s the type of travel I wanted to do there 🙂

  2. Your post is entertaining. I love reading it. I am dreaming of visiting New Zealand someday. My student has been there and she told me it is nice visiting New Zealand just after I told her I planned to visit Australia. Unfortunately, I just got a visa problem.

    • Ah yeah, Australia is always a hard one when it comes to Visas… It also depends on your passport. I hope you can visit NZ soon… it such a beautiful place!

  3. Great posts! It’s cool to know that it’s so close to the see from everywhere. Also, many people have no idea that Alpine-like landscapes are present in countries like New Zealand, Norway, Albania, Slovenia etc… And one more thing, I thought Ireland is the place where you find the highest numbers of sheep… but as I see I was mistaken 🙂 I’m sure I will visit New Zealand – next year I hope!

    • I loved Hiking on the Alpine landscape in the North Island it was really a great experience… and for the sheep, yeah Ireland is pretty big in the sheep business as well but I thing in NZ you have something like 20 sheep for one person. They are literally everywhere! Crazy! 😉

  4. I’ve heard that New Zealand have opened their doors for immigrants. No wonder my other colleagues are encourage to transfer, as the job package includes bringing their families. Plus a beautiful place to live in 🙂

  5. Loved reading all those facts. Some were just hilarious! I found myself trying to say “day” and “die” so that it would sound the same. The advertisement was witty. I’d love to see the tiny penguins as well. AWE-SOME article

  6. It is such an amazing post. There are so many interesting facts covered here. To me, the most interesting were the road signs with numbers and the speed limit on it and I completely agree how humorous people are. That board outside is too good. I haven’t seen even once like that until today. Really cool.

    • Yeah, I thought thos speed indications on the road signs were just perfect! And that sign, I laughed so hard when I saw it. They are just great! 🙂

  7. New Zealand is one of my all time favorite countries. I only visited the south island but am convinced I need to return to the North!

    • Ha! Same here, except the other way around. I only visited North Island and I wanna go back for the South one! Such a beauty, isn’t it?!

  8. New Zealand seems like a fascinating country! I am going there in December and so these facts will be useful. I’ll be really excited to hear that accent in person. I also did not know that the country has two national anthems.

  9. This is an AWE-SOME post! 🙂 Would love to get know better Kiwis’ AWE-SOME sense of humour. Maybe you could write for your next post some AWE-SOME Kiwis’ jokes?!

  10. Been planning to visit New Zealand for a long time now. Some great facts about NZ. I had to google and watch the AIR NZ video and its truly AWESOME. 🙂 What a unique name for a Beer – Craft Beggars. 🙂 A great listicle, thanks for the share.

    • Thanks a lot 🙂 Yeah I really liked the Air NZ video, especially the first time when you are a bit taken aback, because they turn up the sound quite a lot. During the video everyone was dancing in their seat and laughing. Great way to start a very loooong flight!

  11. I love NZ even if I have never been there. It is high on my bucket list. I loved your post! So many fun facts. But now I have found one thing that seems not so great in NZ – the Wetas. I think I would be terrified of them too.

  12. What a beautiful place, and Yes I know some Kiwis and everything is awesome! LOL that made me laugh. I think it is also interesting that all the dangerous animals are in Australia and not New Zealand !

    • Yep, at least you dare to dip into the sea in New Zealand and have a swim or a dive without getting eaten by a great white, or shocked to death by a jelly fish. 🙂

    • Thx a lot Punita! Yes, NZ is such a beautiful country with such gorgeous landscapes… I’d love to go back at some point. 🙂

  13. New Zealand is the place to be for all the adventure lovers out there. It is on my Travel list since a long time and i would love to visit the place as soon as I can.

    • Hi Laveena, if you love nature and adventure and you get the change to travel to NZ you should definitely go for it. Such beautiful sceeries and so many friendly people! 🙂

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