Top 10 Fun Facts About New Zealand

1. Capital of New Zealand

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. It is home to more than 1/4 of the country’s population. But oddly enough, Wellington is the official capital. Wellington has been the capital since the 1800s when the Houses of Parliament was moved to a more central location in the heart of New Zealand.

2. Steepest street

Baldwin Street is located in the second-largest city on the South Island of New Zealand — Dunedin. The length of the street is 359 meters. Baldwin Street is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest residential street in the world. Along its length, it rises to a height of almost 80 meters. The steepest section is 161.2 meters and the climbing level is 47.22 meters, which corresponds to a slope of 19 degrees.

Baldwin Street

The House on Baldwin Street. Photo by Tristan Schmurr (CC-BY 2.0)

3. The first who gave suffrage to women

In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote. Kate Sheppard (pictured on the NZ $ 10 banknote) has run her own campaign to empower women. Since then, New Zealand has become a leader in women’s electoral movements.

4. The official Wizard of Christchurch

In 1982, the New Zealand government appointed an official “Wizard of Christchurch”. His duties include driving out evil spirits and raising the mood of the population. This is such a tourist attraction in the city. Previously, the wizard could be found in the main square of Christchurch near the cathedral. If you have not had time to meet the wizard in person, then visit the official website, which sets out his main ideas.

5. Tolkien’s Middle Earth

This is the fictional universe of the writer John Ronald Ruel Tolkien, where the events of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” unfold. More than 150 natural locations in New Zealand were filmed by Peter Jackson for the trilogy, and the village of Hobbiton is one of the country’s main attractions.

Hobbiton in New Zealand

A Hobbit-hole in Hobbiton

6. Small but powerful

New Zealand and the UK are very similar in terms of land area. However, the UK is home to about 63 million people compared to 4.5 million New Zealand residents.

7. Amazing Kiwi

Kiwi, this is what New Zealanders call themselves. During the warmer months in New Zealand, many kiwis walk barefoot down the street. You can see barefoot people anywhere from supermarkets to cafes.

8. Cleanest water and UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park has received the official seal of the cleanest water in the world. New Zealand’s nature is amazing. Do not forget that the country has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • Tongariro National Park;
  • The Southwest Coast of the South Island (Te Wāhipounamu), which includes several national parks: Mount Cook, Fiordland, Mount Aspiring, Westland;
  • New Zealand subantarctic islands.

Aoraki Mt Cook National Park New Zealand

Mount Cook National Park. Photo by Michal Klajban (CC BY-SA 4.0)

9. Longest title

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is the longest Maori name for a hill located in the Hawke’s Bay (North Island) region. This name is often abbreviated by locals to Taumata for ease of communication.

10. Country of the future

New Zealand is the first country in the world to celebrate a new day.

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