25 Facts About New Zealand That Will Make You Wish You Were A Kiwi

Stuck between Australia and Antarctica, New Zealand is often forgotten by the rest of the world. In fact, it was one of the last significant land masses to be populated by humans. Not even the native Maori settled the islands until around 1250 AD. You might want to get your passport ready right about now because these are 25 awesome facts about New Zealand that will make you wish your were a kiwi!

25

First of all, as you may have noticed, in New Zealand a kiwi is not a fruit. It either refers to a native flightless bird or to the islanders themselves. And unlike many other demographic labels, calling a New Zealander a "kiwi" is not considered offensive!

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24

In case you were wondering, the fruit is called a kiwifruit

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23

New Zealand was the last major landmass to be populated by humans

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22

Although it has some of the most amazing topography in the world, no part of the country is more than 130km from the ocean!

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21

Wellington is the southern most capital city on Earth

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20

Milford Sound has been rated the world's top travel destination based on several international surveys

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19

According to the Corruptions Perception Index New Zealand ties with Denmark for being the least corrupt country in the world.

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18

Baldwin Street in the city of Dunedin is the world's steepest street with a 38% grade

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17

Although the kiwi is a flightless bird it is the logo for the New Zealand air force

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16

New Zealand's government actually created a Lord of the Rings minister position to ensure that the nation made as much money off of the movies as possible

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15

The 90 mile beach is actually only 90 kilometers long

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14

Japan has more vending machines than New Zealand has people (~4.5 million)

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13

Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest, was a kiwi

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12

Lake Taupo is actually a blast crater left over from the world's largest volcanic eruption in the past 70,000 years

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11

For every person in New Zealand there are 9 sheep

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10

Blue Lake is said to have the clearest water in the world

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9

There are no snakes on the islands

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8

New Zealand is home to more species of penguin than anywhere else in the world

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7

Auckland is consistently rated as one of the most livable cities in the world

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6

Roughly one third of the country's landmass consists of protected national parks

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5

The only land mammals native to New Zealand are bats

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4

Since the 1980s New Zealand has been opposed to using nuclear power and even today there are no nuclear power stations on the islands

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3

New Zealand stretches from the subtropics in the north all the way down to much colder regions in the south. As a result, it has some of the most varied geography and climates in the world.

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2

The north island has volcanoes, deserts, and tropical beaches while the south island is covered by plains, glaciers, and alpine peaks.

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1

Powelliphanta is a giant snail found only in New Zealand. And it's carnivorous.

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