Facts about New Zealand

We found 35 facts about New Zealand


New Zealand is a country of records. It has the largest insects, and the smallest dolphins, and even its extinct birds were the largest. It is known worldwide for its landscapes that formed the Middle-earth in the trilogy by Peter Jackson, a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and an island country sitting on volcanoes.

New Zealand
It is an island country, consisting of more than 700 small islands and two landmasses–the North Island and the South Island.
The South Island is ranked the 12th largest island in the world, and the North Island 14th.
It covers an area of 268,021 square kilometers.
It is smaller than the state of Colorado, U.S., and slightly bigger than the United Kingdom.
It is one of three countries, along with Australia and Papua New Guinea, on the Oceania continent.
It was inhabited roughly 800 years ago by Polynesian people.
It is one of the last landmasses settled by people.
The indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand are Māori.
They descend from settlers that came from East Polynesia between 1320 and 1350.
The capital of New Zealand is Wellington.
It is located in the southwestern part of the North Island and currently is inhabited by 419 thousand of people. Wellington is the southernmost national capital.
The founding document of New Zealand was the Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840 between the Māori and the British Crown.
Since 1926, it is a member of the Commonwealth.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy.
The head of the country is King Charles III, represented by a governor-general.
The average temperature in New Zealand ranges between 10 and 16 degrees Celsius all year-round.
The largest natural lake in New Zealand is Lake Taupō.
It is located 350 meters above sea level in the caldera of the Taupō Volcano.
The highest peak in New Zealand is the Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3,754 meters above sea level.
It is located in the Southern Alps.
The Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park is the world’s cleanest water tank, with a visibility range of 80 meters.
Sign language is one of the three official national languages of New Zealand.
New Zealand is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
There are 24 Holocene volcanoes in New Zealand.
The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland, is built on a volcanic field, known as the Auckland volcanic field, with 56 dormant volcanoes scattered throughout the area.
New Zealand was the first country to grant women the right to vote in 1893.
The North Island of New Zealand has a Guinness Record for the longest place name in the world.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a name of a 300-meter hill in Hawke’s Bay. Tourists usually use the first seven letters–Taumata–when referring to the hill.
One of the most recognizable symbols of New Zealand is the kiwi bird.
These flightless birds are endemic to New Zealand.
New Zealand is home to a vast number of endemic animals and plants.
Approximately 80% of flora found in New Zealand is endemic.
The world’s largest insects–weta–are endemic to New Zealand.
It is a group of gigantic flightless crickets, some of which are the world’s heaviest insects.
The largest species of eagle that has ever existed is an extinct Haast’s eagle, endemic to New Zealand.
It weighed 15 kilograms and became extinct in 1400. Its main prey were Moa–species of extinct flightless birds that could reach the weight of 230 kilograms.

The extinction of both Haast’s eagle and nine Moa species was a direct result of the Polynesian people’s arrival in New Zealand between 1250 and 1300 CE.
New Zealand is home to the smallest species of dolphins, Hector’s dolphins.
They are not only the smallest marine dolphins on earth, measuring up to 1.5 meters, but also the rarest.
It is also home to the only species of alpine parrot–kea.
Kea is known to drag windscreen wipers off of cars.
A mountaineer from New Zealand, Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29th, 1953.
He was accompanied by Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali mountaineer.
New Zealand rates second in the world’s wool production.
It is estimated that there are nine sheep to one person.
New Zealand has two national anthems.
One, “God save the King,” is sung during royal and viceregal events, and the other, “God Defend New Zealand,” became the second official national anthem in 1977, and is used more commonly.
A physicist from New Zealand, Ernest Rutherford, discovered the proton in 1920.
Rutherford is referred to as the father of nuclear physics.
The first city on Earth to witness sunrise every day is Gisborne on the North Island.
Since the release of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, New Zealand has become referred to as Middle-earth.
The trilogy was filmed in the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. The journey to Middle-earth begins at the Auckland or Wellington airports, where the characters and Dwarven statues from the movies are displayed. Tourists can visit Rivendell, the Hobbiton, and have dinner at the Green Dragon Inn. Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano on the North Island, served as Mt Doom.
New Zealand has an Official Wizard.
“The Wizard”, formerly Ian Brackenbury Channell, a magician, comedian, and educator was granted the title as an authentic living work of art in 1990, as a recognition for his 16-year "career" as a public speaker on a ladder in Cathedral Square in the city of Christchurch.
It is common for children in New Zealand to start school on their 5th birthday.
Māori’s Haka are one of the most recognizable ceremonial performances.
They are typically performed by groups of men and women at weddings and funerals, to greet distinguished guests or to acknowledge great achievements. There are many variations of haka, and they usually consist of vigorous stomping, protruding of the tongue, various facial expressions, or shouting.
Pavlova, the meringue-based dessert, originates in New Zealand.
It was named after Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina.
The oldest organized sport in New Zealand is cricket.
The most popular sport, however, is rugby.
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