15 Things You Might Not Know About New Zealand

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I've been to New Zealand multiple times now, and yet I'm still constantly learning new things about it. Even though the country may not be as “exotic” as other destinations around the world, it still has characteristics and quirks that many people may not be aware of.

Sure, you probably know that Kiwis (AKA New Zealanders) drive on the left, love rugby, and have a lot of beautiful scenery to look at. But do you also know they were the first to give women the right to vote, or that the country only has one native mammal? I didn't.

15 Fun Facts About New Zealand

So, allow me to shed some light on some things you may not know about New Zealand.

15 Fun Facts About New Zealand

1. There are no snakes

Much like Hawaii, New Zealand is an island grouping devoid of snakes. It also has no poisonous spiders, killer jellyfish, or other deadly creepy crawlies. Australia is home to all of those. (Update — I'm told NZ does, in fact, have 2 or 3 poisonous spiders. But apparently they're so rare that nobody counts them?)

2. New Zealand has only one native mammal

Before settlers began arriving, the country had only one mammal — a bat the size of your thumb. Most of the country's native fauna come in the form of birds, and many of the native bird species in New Zealand are flightless (like the kiwi, takahe, weka, and kakapo) because there were, historically, no large land predators to endanger them.

Takahe on Kapiti Island
Takahe bird

When Europeans arrived, however, they brought with them invasive species like possums, stoats and rabbits that threatened a lot of the native birds (which is why many of them are now endangered).

3. Very high sheep-to-human ratio

There are roughly a little over 4 million people in New Zealand, and about 30 million sheep. You'll find sheep farms all over the country, including huge sheep stations (where they farm thousands of sheep) on the South Island.

Because of the large number of sheep, you can find lamb and mutton on just about any menu in New Zealand – including the one at Subway.

The number of sheep in New Zealand has actually dropped, though. Dairy farming is on the rise (in fact, New Zealand is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products!), and New Zealand also farms deer for meat (NZ venison is delicious!).

New Zealand Countryside

4. New Zealand was home to Sir Edmund Hillary

Yes, the first man to summit Mount Everest was a Kiwi. Quite fitting, isn't it, considering New Zealand's claim of being the “adventure capital of the world”? Hillary is even on the NZ $5 bill.

Other famous people from New Zealand include actors Russell Crowe, Sam Neil and Anna Paquin, and director Peter Jackson. 

5. A country of firsts

My favorite “first” from New Zealand is the fact that the country was the first to give women the right to vote in 1893. Kate Sheppard, the country's most famous suffragette, is now on the NZ $10 bank note. 

Another fun “first”? The town of Gisborne on New Zealand's east coast is said to be the first city to see sunrise each day!

6. New Zealand has 3 official languages

While English is the predominant language spoken in New Zealand, Maori is also an official language, in honor of the native people that originally inhabited the islands.

When looking at the numbers, only about 3 percent of the population actually speaks Maori, but the two languages can be found everywhere. Most place names in New Zealand have both a Maori and an English name, with many of them going by just the Maori name. (The Maori name for New Zealand, by the way, is Aotearoa, which means “the land of the long white cloud.”)

And, as of 2006, NZ Sign Language is the country's third official language. Way to go, NZ, being one of the first countries to do this.

Mount Cook in New Zealand
NZ's tallest mountain goes by both its Maori and English names: Aoraki / Mount Cook

7. There's a range of climates

Want mountains? Beaches? Volcanoes? Rainforests? You'll find all of it (and more) in New Zealand. The country is amazing for the fact that you can drive for 4 or 5 hours and experience so many different landscapes and climates.

There are deserts near snow-covered volcanoes, and glaciers that descend down through temperate rainforests. Crossing from one side of the Southern Alps to the other can mean the difference between 2 meters and 8 meters of rainfall per year.

8. Never far from the coast

Even though New Zealand has a ton of different climates, the country is shaped so that nobody living in the country is ever more than 120 kilometers from the coast.

Granted, that coast (which stretches for more than 9,300 miles!) changes drastically depending on where you are in the country. But you'll never be far from it.

Katiki Point in Moeraki, New Zealand
New Zealand even has orange beaches! (This is Katiki Point in Moeraki)

9. Kiwis, kiwis, and kiwis

The word “kiwi” refers to three different things in New Zealand. First, there's the nocturnal flightless bird with the long beak that's one of NZ's most famous native species. The people of New Zealand have also been nicknamed “Kiwis.” And then there's the kiwi fruit, which, yes, you'll find all over New Zealand, even though technically the fruit came from China!

10. Bungee jumping was born here

Even though some Vanuatu tribes have been jumping off high structures with vines tied around their ankles for decades, bungee jumping in its current form began in New Zealand in the 1980s. AJ Hackett designed the elastic bungee cord, and began bungee operations off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Tandem bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge
Tandem bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge

RELATED: Completing the Bungee Jumping Trifecta in Queenstown

11. The government is unicameral

New Zealand is run as a form of parliamentary democracy, and is part of the British Commonwealth, meaning it is technically still tied to the Queen in England.

Unlike the British government which has two governing houses, however, New Zealand only has one – the House of Representatives. They have a Prime Minister, and also have a truly representative form of government, with all of the country's active political parties being represented in Parliament.

12. Milford Sound is No. 1

Milford Sound – the stunning fjord located in Fiordland National Park on New Zealand's South Island, is renowned the world over for being a must-see spot. In 2008, it was judged the world's top travel destination in an international TripAdvisor survey, and Rudyard Kipling even once called it the eighth wonder of the world. (Though I can now argue that Doubtful Sound is just as amazing, if not better.)

This is one New Zealand cruise worth taking.

Milford Sound from the air
Milford Sound from the air

RELATED: New Zealand Fjord Smackdown: Milford Sound vs. Doubtful Sound

13. No tipping necessary

Going out for dinner in New Zealand? No need to leave a tip like you would in the USA. Either it's not expected, or it will be automatically tacked on to your bill as a service charge. This goes for taxi drivers, too, although none of them will turn down a couple extra dollars if you offer them in thanks. 

And speaking of eating out… it's different from what you're probably used to in the US. Servers won't check on you 17 times, and they won't deliver a bill to you at your table. You have to go up to the register to pay, and some smaller cafes won't even keep track of what you ordered; they just trust you to tell them what you ate.

14. Forget the change

New Zealand phased out its 1-cent and 5-cent coins a few yeas ago, which means most prices either end in a 0, or are rounded up. But, this doesn't necessarily cut down on coins in your wallet, since NZ has $1 and $2 coins instead of paper bills.

15. A great place to go for the apocalypse

This is kind of a joke I have with some New Zealand friends, but it really would make a great place to hide out during the apocalypse. NZ is a nuclear-free zone. Nearly 30% of the country is protected as national parks. And Kiwis really are some of the nicest, most laid-back people you'll ever meet.

That Wanaka Tree

Essential New Zealand info

For further reading, check out these top NZ posts:

Want to get to know NZ better? Watch these movies:



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Have you been to New Zealand? Did any of these New Zealand fun facts surprise you?

 

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New Zealand fun facts

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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135 Comments on “15 Things You Might Not Know About New Zealand

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  1. Very interesting! I like these kinds of posts, straight to the point and informative. I had no idea New Zealand had no snakes or poisonous spiders – is this my new heaven?

    And I still have trouble with the no-tip thing. It’s the same in France – your tip is automatically added to your bill, so technically you don’t have to leave any unless you received an exceptional service. But I feel so cheap leaving the restaurant with my pockets full of change! It takes a bit of getting used to.

      Thanks, Marie! I like reading these sorts of posts about other countries, so I figured why not write one up about New Zealand?

      The no-tipping thing does indeed take some getting used to… And then, once you get back to the U.S., you have to remember to start again! Haha.

        We actually have 3 official languages in New Zealand. 1) English, 2) Maori and 3) NZ Sign Language. Thanks for a lovely post. As a migrant of 16 years who now calls New Zealand home, I could not agree more with your thoughts especially the one about Milford Sound.

      You can still tip a NZ’er! Altho it’s no neccessary, we still like it! 🙂

        Haha yes I’m sure you do! And I usually did tip, at least a little. 😉

          Actually most business policies forbid employees taking things from customers this includes tips.

      Actually, no tip is added to the bill either. You pay for your food. The wait-staff get paid a regular hourly rate. We’ve never had a topping system.

      There may have been at least one important New Zealander missed on the famous list, Lord Earnest Rutherford who split the atom was also a New Zealander.

      In 1893 we were the first country to give women the vote.

      Also we have some amazing seafood, wines and all of our red meat is grass-fed. You can taste the difference. No hormones allowed.

        Yes, I love that NZ was the first country to give women the vote! That’s awesome.

        And the food there definitely tastes better!

      It made me feel so uncomfortable as a kiwi in the states when giving a tip. In NZ if you give a tip, the waiter will most likely say no, and offer it back to you. If you insist they will express sincere thanks and put it in a communal tip jar for the entire staff and it will get split or spent on something for the crew. Very different.

      Tips are not a NZ thing, I guess its because we have a minimum law wage which is now at $15.50 if I am correct. This goes up every year and employers who pay below that rate are in breach of the law and are liable to be prosecuted.

    So many interesting things I didn’t know about New Zealand.. all making it an even more attractive place! Thanks!

      My pleasure! New Zealand is a pretty interesting place.

    After reading number 1… Why on earth does anyone go to Australia? Really interesting post, I knew almost none of these facts.

      Haha, I know, right? I’d take NZ over OZ any day!

      And thanks for reading, Phil! I’m glad you learned some things. 🙂

      Oh, there are reasons, trust me. Many kiwi’s move there (I am one of the many) and not solely for reasons of work. Having lived in 4 countries and visited or worked in many others, I think Aussie is one of the best places in the world to live. And yes, I must concede NZ is on that list, but IMHO, not at the top.

      To get jobs and have a warmer and more diverse lifestyle…..new zealand is the only country in world where its citizens are allowed to live and work full time without a visa and travel unrestricted at will for life .The same for Australians in New Zealand in fact Australians can vote in new zealand elections after staying their for longer than 3months.Australias only country allowed.So the movement of people back and forward is the same as people in your country moving interstate at will.

    I love reading fun facts about a country. Number #13 and #14 is good to know. I often forget many countries don’t do tips.

      I like learning random facts about places, too, and I’m glad I’m not alone in that! I could have probably easily made this list a lot longer, but I figured this was a good start!

    Ah, this is why I love New Zealand. Being from the Uk I hate small change so the dropping of 1 and 2 cents makes total sense.

    This post makes me miss New Zealand even more 🙂

    Paul / MyPostcardFrom

      New Zealand is just so damn lovable, isn’t it?? Haha. I love not having to worry about the small change, too. It makes the wallet a lot lighter!

    It’s great to see what others think of New Zealand. Especially the tipping thing. We don’t even think about that:) By the way, there are actually three official languages in New Zealand. NZ Sign Language is the other one.

      I’d be interested to see what a New Zealander would find weird or quirky about the U.S.! This sort of stuff is really cool to me.

      And I had no idea NZ Sign Language was also official! (And neither does the CIA World Factbook, apparently, which is what I checked to make sure…)

      Re: NZSL

      NZ is a social world leader in many ways, as evidrnced by this comment. Not mentioned was the fact that NZ was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. So, recognising sign language like this comes as no surprise.

        South Australia was first to give women vote and be elected to Parliament 1894.NZ vote 1883 but note elected to parliament

    I’m a big fan of the ‘pay at the counter after your meal’ system.

    In other places you often wait far too long for (1) the bill to be brought to the table (2) your credit card to be accepted and the slip brought back for signing (3) a waitperson to come back and collect the signed slip.

    This usually happens when even after a good night and nice meal you want to be on your way out of there. Much better to just go to the counter when you’re ready!

      It really does make a lot of sense! You are free to end your meal as quickly or as slowly as you’d like. I don’t think it would work in the US though… haha.

        I have found one restaurant in Houston, Texas that I paid at the counter after my meal: Quan Yin Vegan Restaurant.

        There are a few places here in Florida where you pay at the counter after you eat .

    I didn’t know any of the facts listed here! I’m ready to go if there aren’t any poisonous critters. I still love the fact that people actually stop when you cross the street. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful facts and including the amazing pictures.

      The lack of lots of creepy crawlies is nice, and you really can’t beat the scenery! I’m glad I could share some things you didn’t know about NZ. This is what travel is all about, isn’t it – learning new things about far-off places? Thanks for reading, Debbie!

        we do have the weta though haha don’t like them at all!

          Haha, fair enough! At least they aren’t poisonous, though!

    I live in Seattle where cars almost always stop for you in crosswalks like that. I’m from the Mid-West like you are, and was pleasantly surprised by it when I moved here. When I visit family in Illinois I always stop for pedestrians and always worry about being rear-ended. The Mid-West is a very pedestrian unfriendly place, the West is much better in that respect.
    I also work as a waitress in the U.S. and would love if the gratuity was already included on the bill or we would be paid a higher wage instead of minimum wage which is entirely unlivable. Never having any idea of how much money I will make is very stressful.

      That’s awesome that Seattle is pedestrian-friendly. I knew I really liked that city! 🙂

      And I feel your pain about waitressing wages — I waited tables for about a year before I got my “real” job, and it was tough never knowing how much money you were going to take home. Because, for every patron who gave you a good tip, it seemed like there were 2 or 3 who would leave bad ones…

    I love the pay at the counter type of service! Those are my favorite types of places to eat, way less stress for everyone:-)

    And I guess you didn’t hang out in AKL too much, because I have never seen a city (maybe except for NYC) where cars don’t stop for ANYONE! There are accidents allllll the time of cars hitting people. My reasoning is because hardly anyone lives there, they just aren’t in the habit of looking out for people. I flipped so many birds to drivers coming so close to peds, it was insane!

      No, I spent no time in Auckland at all on this trip. In fact, I’m not really a fan of Auckland at all (and it’s not just the Wellington bias in me talking!). To me, Auckland is no different than any other city in the world. It doesn’t have a distinct NZ character about it. And, apparently, it has the same “rush rush rush” mentality that any large city would have!

        Having learned to drive in NZ, I consider us the worlds rudest drivers? Stop for a pedestrian? You are kidding, right? Was not taught to, and my wife still thinks I am a rude driver and is certain my attitude is illegal here. The politest drivers I ever came across were in Housten, where a gap would open in traffic if I merely indicated my desire…

        In NZ, if someone indicates to change lanes, in all likelihood, any sign of a gap in the traffic will disappear as drivers speed up to close it. Things may have changed now, but I still consider ‘us’ to have appalling road manners.

          I live in Houston and see both the situations you described: people resent your desire to “intrude their space” or some will offer you the courtesy if they think that is what you are doing.

      In Maryland so many pedestrians have been killed it’s ridiculous. I myself don’t drive and have to walk places and I abide by the traffic light and crosswalk. The big thing here is a lack of patience,need for speed,texting while driving, drunk or on drugs nonsense like that. I have seen pedestrians cross against the light,not pay attention, and cross at the wrong spot all at the same time or one of the other but mostly drivers preoccupied with their damn phones .

    You had me at ‘no snakes.’ (Sniff, sniff) You had me at ‘no snakes!’

      Haha, you’re not alone there! NZ is appealing to many people for that same reason.

    This made me ‘homesick’ for New Zealand. I knew most of this (although kudos to them on the sign language thing), but the photos? Love that country.

      It makes me “homesick,” too. 🙂 And as for the photos, there are plenty more to come!

    Wait…adventure, no snakes, no tipping, fantastic scenery and sheep? Sign me up!

    #6 There’s a range of climates.
    that is why I love New Zealand – it so small but so different.

      I’m not sure you can find another country as diverse in landscapes as New Zealand. Perhaps the US… But when you do a size comparison, NZ certainly packs the most punch!

    Interesting! I haven’t been there but enjoyed learning some new things about NZ and looking at your beautiful photos. Milford Sound is stunning! And I love that NZ adopted their sign language as an official language.

      Thanks, Jenna! New Zealand is full of surprises — I didn’t even know about the sign language at first , but I agree that it’s awesome that it’s now one of the country’s official languages.

      And just about all of NZ is stunning — but Milford is definitely special.

        I definitely have to get there someday. Honestly, I didn’t think much about it until I saw a friend’s pictures and read stories from you and other travel bloggers who absolutely love it there.

    Ive lived in New Zealand forth past two and a half years, a year studying in Dunedin on the Aouth Island and then a year and a half on 90mile beach in the far north, so i know all of these, now. But I’ll tell ya, as for #9 if it weren’t for pedestrian crossings youd never get across the street! Cars definitely don’t stop any other time! Especially in Dunedin. I’ve seen some chronic road rage, and the city isn’t even all that busy 😉

    NZ is a great country, I’ve definitely fallen in love

      Haha, well then maybe it’s even more impressive that the pedestrian crossings work so well!

      And I’m with you on falling in love with NZ — I’ve been to a lot of places, but nowhere that I love quite as much as New Zealand.

    Very cool!! Thank you so much for posting this 🙂 It was really interesting.

    I love reading such great testimonials about the country I live in.
    Thank you 🙂

    haha wow. this was really great, thanks for posting. I’m moving to New Zealand from Norway with my wife in just three days time now. Good to know about the tipping, as it is different in every country i visit, and quite serious for some people apparently if you do it wrong. ha ha.

      Well hopefully this was a nice and fun intro to NZ for you! Good luck with the move!

    Very useful info. thanks. off to NZ in 3 weeks for a 5 week tour

    Sue.

    New Zealand has one brand of poisonous spider – The Katipo. It is similar to the australia red back and american black widow . The katipo has a long red stripe down its back and its bites have been fatal (athough the last known death was reported in about 1845) an anti-venom is avliable in all hospitals. However the katipo is very sporadicly found and your fortunate enough to find one theyre normally found on the sea-shore under driftwood or on sand-dunes.

      I didn’t know that! So New Zealand DOES in fact have at least one creepy crawly that can kill you!

      We have the white tail spider as well. We are pretty lucky we don’t have poisonous things.

    how dare you put up that you dont have to tip????? you may be riight but all the jobs you would tip for in other countrys ARE VERY LOW INCOME JOBS and these people give exceptional service for often minimum wage. thanks for wrecking one of the few bonuses that waitstaff in NZ have! how inconsiderate of you!!!!!

      I ALWAYS tip when I travel. But New Zealand DOES NOT have the same tipping culture as the U.S. – you even said it yourself when you wrote “you may be right.”

        Yes, you are right. Even up until my last trip 4-5 years ago, tipping was STILL not formally done. That said, I always tip for good service.

        Plus NZ’ers can be embarrassed when overseas – esoecially in the US. Being from a non-tipping country, they simply do not realise it is expected to the point of being socially mandatory in some countries. These people are not mean, they simply do not understand.

        You are absolutely right – tipping is NOT required or expected in NZ and it is NOT automatically included in your bill. This; I do a good job so I should get more – is nonsense as every employee is expected to perform at their best or they will soon have no job at all. As is the case in any vocation in NZ. They are paid appropriately for that job. Any disgruntled staff have process they can access to address that through their employer or union. I’m a Kiwi born & bred and fellow Kiwis never tip at home, it is an oddity only seen when visitors are here. It has never been a part of NZ culture, it is not expected so you do not need to feel as though you should. Often an offer of a tip is gratefully but politely declined. What you can expect though is excellent, friendly service (always) fabulous food and a great time. No strings attached.

        As far as wildlife you have to watch out for – when in the South Island keep an eye on the Kea. (NZ alpine parrot) harmless but smart as tacks and will pinch, eat or destroy anything that isn’t tied down. 🙂

          I know I’m replying like two years late to this, but thank you for explaining this properly so people understand. As someone from NZ, just the idea of tipping makes me uncomfortable. Personally (and this may be a kiwi thing) I don’t like to be waited on. I prefer to just sit down and eat my meal without someone constantly checking if I’m okay. And having to sit around after my meal and wait for the bill is just inconvenient. We definitely do hospitality a far more common sense and comfortable way.

      I live in NZ all my life and i have never tipped or been tipped. U might see in a
      pub there is a tipping jar. I dont even think i wanna go to other countries coz of the tipping. I have no idea how it works :/

    Very interesting!
    And a famous actress born in New Zealand is Lucy Lawless, the woman who played Xena Warrior Princess. One day I wish I could visit NZ, thanks for information!

    Hi I have just come across this page. Great info, as for the pictures, just beautiful is this Land. My daughter and family will be leaving very soon, to start a new life in New Zealand. They are heading for Wellington. The three of them are looking forward to this new adventure. I wish them well and hope to visit in 2014

      Awesome! Wellington is my favorite city in NZ. I hope they enjoy it!

    i lived in new zealand for two years. the best place i’ve ever been. the people, the atmosphere, everything just fall into the right places.

    I am originally from Brazil, but have lived in New Zealand for 23 years. I am in the travel industry so I do travel quite a bit. Love to travel, but the best part is to get back home to New Zealand. The air is fresher, crispier and lighter. A truly gorgeous and blessed little country.

    May God continue to bless it.

      Hi Katia, I am from Curitiba, and planning to visit new Zealand , back pack style! Any tips?
      Cheers! João

        Hey John! New Zealand is an awesome place to back pack in! Very safe and tourist-friendly. My biggest tips would be to bring more money than you think you need (because things are quite pricey here!), and to never underestimate how quickly the weather can change – be sure to pack some layers!

    Hi – Found this very interesting! Great to learn things about different countries. New Zealand has my type of weather and NO snakes – Would be difficult not to tip when you come from a tipping culture! Have friends and family who have settled there – very happy. As a South African, the Kiwis and Aussies are rugby arch rivals!

      Ah yes, huge rugby rivalry there!

      NZ is great. And, the tipping thing is slowly starting to become a part of the Down Under culture, too!

    Great write-up! There are so many similarities between NZ and Ireland (e.g. no tipping, no snakes, population, landscape) – thinking of moving to NZ from Ireland, where I’ve been studying social work (originally from Chicago). From what I’ve heard, the Wellington area has a bit more culture than Auckland, but unfortunately most of the jobs are in Auckland! Anyhow, thanks for sharing this.

      Yes, I can definitely see the similarities between NZ and Ireland!

      (And my pick would definitely be Wellington if you could find a job there!)

    It was co0l, im here in n.z as a oversea student and i really love this country and their people too,they r very helpfull towords to every one and thats pretty nice 🙂

    Hey, no snakes and few spiders is a plus, but…. Have you ever heard of “scrub typhus”? Hello, headache, fever, groin lymph nodes measured in “golf ball” units. Quizzical looks from North American physicians define this disease that is transmitted by mites in the soil. Undiagnosed, trouble. Diagnosed, weeks of Doxycycline, and eventual recovery. Lived it, diagnosed it, treated it, recovered from it, and now just here to let the unsuspecting NZ visitor know that it is what is generally known as a rickettsial disease like Rocky Mountain spotted fever only for Oceania and Eastern Asia. By the way, immigrating in 7 weeks to Whangarei…what can I say? I love lymph nodes that are big enough to wear a pork pie.

      Yikes, that doesn’t sound fun! But good to hear that it didn’t put you off NZ. 🙂

    I like this list. Was born in NZ and lived there nearly 30 years before emigrating. I would also have mentioned the Marlborough Sounds as incredibly beautiful, though having lived close to Fjordland, cannot disagree with your list and comments.

    I think you will find the katipo spider is more common than you imply too.

    And another fact (sorta) about wildlife and insects… the NZ weta is native, with only cave weta’s existing on a few nearby islands. But, nowhere else. And why is this relevant? Well, in my opinion they are the ugliest thing on this planet, even uglier than my ex-wife 🙂 The weta is not merely grotesque, but can inflict injuries from its barbs on the rear legs, plus its bite which can be poisonous, not from injecting poison but due to the timbers it eats. forming a poison when mixed with its saliva. Snakes do not bother me, but I will run screaming from a weta. Well, almost.

    Finally, we were taught in school that in geography there are 7 fundamental terrain types, such as mountain ranges, deserts, fjords, etc. Do not recall them all. However, NZ is the only country that has all 7. Am led to believe this is true, and you may consider mentioning it (if you can find evidence supporting the claim).

    A great list.

      Cool fact about the terrains! I will definitely have to look into that one some more.

    1969 on the way to Antarctica with the United States Navy. we laid over at Christchurch New Zealand. thought this was the original Garden of Eden,because no snake or other poisonous animals,nothing but huge floral plants. The Kiwi people were so kind to us this was and probably is greatest memories I had and my youth

      What a great memory, Barry! Kiwis are still very friendly people. 🙂

    I love New Zealand with a passion. I have crawled / slithered into many caves in the Kaweka ranges in Hawkes Bay, North Island which were home to many wetas hanging on the roof and certainly never been bothered by them. They are a species the average tourist would never come across.
    This is a fantastic laid back country of opportunities where, as my father used to say ” In NZ you can be a big fish in a small pond whereas in larger countries you go unnoticed.”
    Kiwis still leave their handbags in their local supermarket trolleys while they wander off to look at goodies. Seldom is anything stolen. ( I don’t recommend this as there will sure to be one bad apple in the box).

      New Zealand is indeed a very special country! One of my favorites, for sure, for so many reasons. 🙂

        Hi Amanda, but what about the earthquakes? Are they common?