New Zealand is home to more than just Hobbits. It is also the address of a super helpful dolphin a really tough rugby player and some pretty scary insects.
The longest place name in the world is in New Zealand. With 57 letters it is the name of a hill in Hawkes Bay.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu. Those who stutter (and those who don’t), try this pronunciation behind closed doors.
Regardless of where you are in the country you are never more than 128km from the sea.
Which is why 3 in 5 Kiwi households own a boat I imagine.
In the scene of Star Trek: First Contact, where we see Earth from space, Australia and Papua New Guinea are clearly visible but New Zealand is invisible – completely missing in fact.
5% of New Zealand’s population is human while the rest are animals.
Those suffering of Ophidiophobia head on over to New Zealand! There are no land snakes, native or introduced in this country.
Organised commercial bungee jumping first began in New Zealand.
Now this is scary, more people die in New Zealand each year playing lawn bowls than scuba diving. Best you steer clear of those killer bowling greens.
New Zealand is home to the giant weta, the heaviest insect in the world. It is heavier than a sparrow and looks like a giant cockroach.
Regardless of the scary insects and deadly bowling New Zealand was voted the world’s best country in 2007 and 2008 by Wanderlust magazine.
Dogs might be man’s best friend, but in New Zealand a dolphin named Pelorus Jack was a sailor’s best friend. This helpful dolphin guided ships through dangerous and rocky waters around the country in the early 1900s.
The making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit raked in around $200 million into the country coffers.
The New Zealand government appointed a Minister for Lord of the Rings, to ensure the most money could be made from the films. In 1990, the New Zealand prime minister appointed a National Wizard – every country should have one!
Kiwi’s are tough blokes. Really tough! Rugby player Wayne Shelford got his scrotum ripped open mid-game in a tackle. He was taken off the field with one testicle hanging out, got stitched up on the bench and continued the game. Now that’s commitment to the game!
There is a giant carnivorous snail living in the South Island. Luckily you should be able to outrun a snail…
Gisborne airport has train tracks running across the middle of the runway. Splendid planning…. Quite often, trains and planes have to stop until one moves out of the way. Which poses the question, which has right of way a plane or train? A question that has always plagued any Kiwi traveller.
New Zealand is the only country in the world where all the highest government positions have been simultaneously held by women. In 2006, the Queen, the Governor-General, the PM, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice were all women.
The only land mammals native to NZ are bats. The rest were introduced by Maoris and Europeans.
In 2007, the ‘square’ New Zealand courts banned a couple from naming their child ‘4Real’. So naturally, instead, the poor tot was named Superman instead. Correct me if I am wrong but this is still better than Apple…
A New Zealand man who lost a poker bet had to legally change his name to Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova. The 99-character name was almost denied because the legal limit is 100 characters. Must be a bit of a schlep filling in forms now…