Interesting facts about New Zealand



  • The Māori name for NZ, Aoetaroa, means 'land of the long white cloud'.
  • Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world.
  • No part of the country is more than 128km (79 miles) from the sea.
  • There are no land snakes, native or introduced, in NZ.
  • New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.
  • Organised commercial bungee jumping first began in New Zealand.
  • The lowest denomination in NZ currency is the 10 cent piece.
  • NZ is home to more species of penguins than any other country.
  • 5% of NZ's population are Māori.
  • New Zealand is home to the world's smallest dolphin species.
  • New Zealand is similar in size to the UK, but only has a population of about 4 million (compared to 63 million in the UK).
  • The first man to climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi.

  • About one-third of the country is protected national park.
  • More people live in Auckland than in the whole of the South Island.
  • Ninety Mile Beach is actually only 90 kilometres long.
  • The national sport of NZ is rugby union.
  • There are more vending machines in Japan than there are people in New Zealand.
  • Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, is the world's steepest street. The road has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38 percent grade.
  • In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.
  • There is a clock in Dunedin which has been running since 1864, despite never having been wound since it was made
  • The man who pioneered plastic surgery, Harold Gillies, was a Kiwi.
  • There are no nuclear power stations in New Zealand.
  • Blue Lake, in Nelson Lakes National Park, has the clearest water in the world.
  • Pelorus Jack was a dolphin who guided ships through dangerous and rocky waters around NZ in the early 1900s.
  • Two NZ rescue dogs were taught to drive a car around a track, in order to prove the intelligence of shelter animals.
  • Lake Taupo was formed by a supervolcanic eruption 26,000 years ago. The dust from the eruption could be seen in modern-day China.
  • New Zealand was the last habitable landmass to be populated.