You might know New Zealand as the home of the Hobbits, rugby and funny looking flightless birds, but there’s so much to the country that first meets the eye. I’ve found 10 of the most surprising facts about the land of the long white cloud:
10 Interesting Facts about New Zealand
1. New Zealand is home to the world’s longest place name. Coming in at 57 characters, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu is certainly a mouthfull!
2. Situated at the bottom of New Zealand’s North Island, Wellington is the world’s southernmost capital city.
3. Launched in 1988, New Zealand is home to the world’s first commercial bungy jump, the Kawarau Bridge Bungy.
4. There are no wild snakes in New Zealand.
5. New Zealand is home to one of the world’s most generous duty free allowances, with up to 4.5 litres of alcohol, per person, permitted to be brought into the country. By comparison, Australia only permits a total of 2.25L.
6. There are plenty of jokes about New Zealand and it’s large sheep population, but the reality is that the ratio sits at 9 sheep to every 1 person.
7. Although Australia was an early adopter of women’s suffrage, New Zealand was the first self-governing country in the world to give women the vote. Women have been able to cast their vote since 1893.
8. Renowned for its natural beauty, close to one third of New Zealand is protected by national parks and marine reserves.
9. Also known as Rotomairewhenua, Blue Lake near Nelson is the world’s clearest natural body of fresh water in the world. A stunning sight, the lake is regarded as sacred by the local Maori people.
10. Home to a relatively small population, around one third of the country’s population calls the major city of Auckland home.