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!
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.
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!
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.