Much has been said about New Zealand, why it is one of the most sough-after vacation destinations in the world. However, there are things you might know about this amazing country. Here are the top 20 fun facts about New Zealand.
1. The Maori name of New Zealand is Aotearoa which means the land of the long white cloud.
2. New Zealand was once governed as part of the territory of New South Wales and later a part of Australia.
3. It is one of the three countries in the world that has two official national anthems of equal standing. The first is God Save the Queen and the other is God Defend New Zealand.
4. New Zealanders are also called kiwis but kiwi is not a fruit. It is New Zealand’s native flightless bird.
5. It was the first major nation to have universal suffrage. In 1893 all male and female citizens are legally allowed to vote.
6. Queen Elizabeth II is officially Queen of New Zealand, represented in the country by a Governor General.
7. To become a New Zealand citizen, you must swear an oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth.
8. The official language is English and Maori.
9. New Zealand is one of the world’s least populated countries with over 4 million populations.
10. The largest city in New Zealand is Auckland although its capital city is Wellington.
11. The country is part of the Pacific Rim of Fire and its most active volcano is Mount Ruapehu, found in the middle of the North Island.
12. When in New Zealand, you must drive on the left side of the road.
13. The Auckland City Sky Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 meters high.
14. New Zealanders love cars with 2.5 million cars for 4 million people making them one of the countries to have the highest car ownership rate in the world.
15. The most popular films in the country include ‘Once were Warriors’, ‘The Whale Rider’, ‘The Piano’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.
16. This was the first country to have its three top positions of power held simultaneously by women; Prime Minister Helen Clark, Governor General Dame Silvia Cartwright and the Chief Justice Sian Elias.
17. There are no snakes in the country!
18. 30% of the country is forest.
19. Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sunrise because it is 496.3 kilometers away from the International Date Line.
20. Dairy farmers produce a whopping 100 kg of butter and 65kg of cheese each year for each person living in New Zealand.