8 Interesting Facts about New Zealand
New Zealand is a land like no other. With calm bays to the North, rugged mountains to the South and all sorts of environments in-between, New Zealand is an outdoors-lovers dream. Teeming with people known for their hospitality, a fascinating culture, and every type of activity you could think of, here’s 8 interesting facts about this nation at the bottom of the globe!
- The Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa which means the land of the long white cloud. Look up at the sky any day there and you’ll discover why they went with this name!
- While New Zealander’s are called kiwi’s, don’t think they’re named after the fruit. The Kiwi is also New Zealand’s native flightless bird and serves as the unofficial symbol of the country!
- New Zealand was the first major nation to have universal suffrage. Since 1893 all citizens have legally been allowed to vote, regardless of gender.
- Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sunrise – but only since 2011, when Samoa moved its position on the international date line.
- Commercial bungy jumping was invented in New Zealand. One of the creators, A.J Hackett, tested his bungy cords by sneaking up the Eiffel tower one morning and jumping off!
- The steepest residential street in the world is Baldwin Street in Dunedin. Every year, you can watch the annual Jaffa race there.
- New Zealand is the only country to have a government appointed wizard. Official duties for the “Wizard of Christchurch” include cheering up the population and casting spells.
- You can find the world’s longest town name here. Try saying this three times fast: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu.
“Keen as” to check out New Zealand? Explore it with our Discover New Zealand program.