It’s the youngest country on Earth, it’s home to fascinating indigenous Maori people and it was the filming location for Lord of the Rings. There are many well-known facts that make New Zealand one of the most incredible places to visit in the world. But there are more lesser-known titbits of info that make the place even more enticing to explore. Just in case unprecedented natural beauty, drool-worthy cuisine and adrenaline-pumping activities just waiting to challenge you aren’t enough, here are 8 fun facts about New Zealand that’ll make you want to visit right now.
8 Fun facts about New Zealand
1. The Maori name for New Zealand is “Aotearoa”, which means “the land of the long white cloud”. The exact origin of the name isn’t known, but traditional stories claim it was the name of the canoe owned by the explorer who discovered New Zealand.
2. It’s home to the place with the longest name in the world – Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu. This tongue-twister name refers to a hill in southern Hawkes Bay. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the hill – except for the huge signpost which has the name written in full.
3. There are more sheep living there than people. In 2015, for every 1 person living in New Zealand, there were 6 sheep residents. This isn’t as impressive as the rumours which say there are 20 sheep for every person in New Zealand, but it’s still pretty cool!
4. It’s where you’ll find the clearest freshwater lake in the world. It’s called Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park and is simply stunning. The water is literally so clear that boats on it look like they’re floating in mid-air.
5. The world’s smallest species of dolphin lives in the waters off the west coast of North Island. Known as Maui’s Dolphin, this maritime species is the rarest of its kind and the females of the species grow to just 1.7 metres long.
6. Baldwin Street in Dunedin is the steepest street in the world. At its steepest part, for every 2.86 metres it measures horizontally, it rises vertically by 1 metre. If it was any steeper, it would practically be a wall!
7. Despite its small size, New Zealand’s coastline measures a whopping 15,134km. This makes it the 10th longest coastline in the world, just losing out to the US.
8. There are several giant snails living in Kahurangi National Park in South Island. These incredible creatures are known as “Powelliphanta” snails and can live to be 20 years old.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the fun facts about New Zealand. Any other fun facts you would like to share?