It is home to sky-high mountains, historic towns, flightless birds with the same name as a fruit and was the setting for one of the most successful movie trilogies of all time. Basically, New Zealand is a cool place. Still not convinced? Check out these 10 cool facts.
1. New Zealand has girl power
As well as becoming the first country to allow women to vote – over 100 years ago – it was also the first to have its three top positions of power held simultaneously by women. Now that’s girl power!
2. Wellington is the world’s southernmost capital city
Not only is Wellington’s official tourism slogan ‘The Capital of Cool’ – at 41.2o south, New Zealand’s capital is the most southerly capital city on Earth.
3. One of the world’s largest volcanic eruptions occurred there
One of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations – Lake Taupo – was the source of the largest eruption in the last 70, 000 years and released over 500 cubic kilometers of magma. It is now New Zealand’s largest lake – only slightly smaller than the island country of Singapore in size.
4. Sir Edmund Hillary – the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest – was a New Zealander
But is it any surprise when New Zealand is home to some of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world? He certainly had plenty of places to practice.
5. New Zealand is home to the world’s first commercial bungy jump
Since A.J. Hackett built his 43 metre bungy jump in 1988 on Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown – New Zealand has attracted adrenalin-seeking travellers from around the world. Skydiving, paragliding and zorbing (Google it – it’s seriously cool!) are just some of the action-packed activities you can try.
6. New Zealand is the world’s leading golf-playing nation
Despite rugby being by far the most popular spectator sport in New Zealand, golf is the most participated in sport. Not only that, there are more golf courses per capita than in any other country in the world. Tee-riffic!
7. There are no snakes
A relief for many travellers down under, you won’t find this much-feared species anywhere in New Zealand – except maybe at Auckland Zoo.
8. You’re never more than 3 hours drive from the coast
That’s right – you can quite easily be trekking in the mountains or scaling glaciers in the morning and lying on the beach in the afternoon.
9. It’s home to the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest free-standing structure
At 328 metres, Auckland’s Sky Tower is impressively tall and has magnificent views over the harbour city. Feeling brave? Try the Sky Tower Jump or just enjoy the views from the top-level restaurant.
10. You can be one of the first in the world to see the sunrise
Gisborne is situated 496 kilometres from the International Date Line and is the world’s first major city to see the sunrise each morning.