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Quirky facts about New Zealand

Maunga Hikurangi @Stuff

What is odd, weird or special about New Zealand

Julius Haast, 1865 named the Franz Josef Glacier after a long white beard triggered the name for Franz Josef Glacier. The Austrian Emperor had a beard.

The Arthur’s Pass Visitor Centre reminds visitors about the possessive apostrophe. Definitely do not call the place Arthur Pass. The other place in New Zealand that is possessive is Hawke’s Bay.

Arthur’s Pass emblem was designed in 1956 by Ray Cleland. One of the original  full-time professional rangers in the country. The design was a mountain, beech and river carved into a lump of greywacke.

Sir Julius von Haast @UNESCO Memory Of The World Sir Julius von Haast @UNESCO Memory Of The World
Arthur’s Pass Visitor Centre, New Zealand @Arthur's Pass Café Arthur’s Pass Visitor Centre @Arthur's Pass Café

Unique limestone rocks at Pancake Rocks, Paparoa National Park occur only there.  Nowhere else in the world. The well known Inland Pack Track follows a track originally formed by gold miners.

Stewart Island is over 85% National Park, Rakiura National Park.

The endemic Westland Black Petrel breeds only on the Punakaiki Coast. That’s it, a very short runway for successful breeding.

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk @Martin Tychtl Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk @Martin Tychtl
Westland petrel, New Zealand @West Coast Penguin Trust Westland petrel @West Coast Penguin Trust

if you like golf then visit New Zealand, there are more golf courses, per capita that anywhere in the world.

Roxburgh golf, Roxburgh, New Zealand @golfpass Roxburgh golf @golfpass
@piopiogolf @piopiogolf

New Zealand does have a fake kiwi. It’s a fruit originally from China now named zespri, New Zealand kiwifruit.

@Zespri @Zespri

New Zealand is the first country to offer commercial bungee jumping. AJ Hackett in the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, back in 1988.

The clearest lake in the world is Nelson Blue Lake with visibility up to 80 metres.

Bungee Jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand @Arrivalguides Bungee Jumping, Queenstown @Arrivalguides
Nelson Blue Lake, New Zealand @nelsontasman Nelson Blue Lake @nelsontasman

The Southernmost capital in the world is located in New Zealand. It’s Wellington.

Go voting rights for women. New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote in 1893.

New Zealand has only one native land mammal. Bats. All other land mammals were introduced by Maoris and Europeans.

The most famous landmark in WellingtonThe most famous landmark in Wellington, New Zealand Wellington
Long-tailed bat, New Zealand @Aongatete Forest Project Long-tailed bat @Aongatete Forest Project

The Steepest Residential Street in the world is Baldwin St in Dunedin.

For such a small looking country, New Zealand has the 9th longest coastline in the world, with a length of 15,134 km.

Baldwin Street in the Dunedin of New Zealand Baldwin Street in the Dunedin of New Zealand
Aerial view of west coast, south island, New Zealand New Zealand

New Zealand is the 3rd closest country to Antarctica, only after Chile and Argentina.

A long skinny island means wherever you are in New Zealand, you’ll never be more than 128 km from the seaside.

It’s embarrassing, there are more Scottish piping bands per capita in New Zealand than in Scotland.

The Kiwi, which is a little flightless bird native to New Zealand, lays eggs that are about 20% of the mother’s body. Kiwi eggs are six times as big as normal for a bird of its size.

Top of lighthouse on Matiu Somes Island overlooking harbour, Somes Island, New Zealand
@ainawgsd.tumblr @ainawgsd.tumblr

Longest Name in Any English Speaking Country

The 85 characters long Maori name for a hill in Hawke’s Bay is the longest place name found in any English-speaking country. It is, Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungah-oronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, which roughly translate, “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as the land-eater, played his nose flute to his loved ones”.

Taumata Hill, New Zealand @The telegraph Taumata Hill @The telegraph

New Zealand is a country of Volcanoes. There are over 50 volcanic cones in Auckland alone. They are classified as dormant.

Although one is only 600 years old, Mount Rangitoto, an island in the harbour is a window into what the world’s surface would look like after an massive eruption. Rotorua and Mount Tarawera is the story of an eruption over 100 years ago.

Australian Kiwis anyone? New Zealand is listed as a state of Australia in the Australian constitution and can join the Australian Confederation if they choose to.

Kea, alpine parrot, personality plus

The kea, a bird native to New Zealand, is known for pulling windscreen wipers off cars and eating the strips of rubber from windows. In fact, many tourists suffer damages on their car rentals thanks to this little bird.

Rangitoto Island, New Zealand @Aucklandnz.com Rangitoto Island @Aucklandnz.com
Close up Kea, the NZ bird in the winter at Milford sound Close up Kea, the NZ bird in the winter at Milford sound

WE’RE THE FIRST COUNTRY TO SEE THE SUNRISE

Thanks to the curvature of the Earth, the North Island city of Gisborne on the East Coast is the first to see the actual sunrise… Mount Hikurangi is the place to be… stunning sculptures reflect the stories associated with sunrise.

New Zealand Christmas Trees Rata tree and Pohutukawa tree, differences

Both glorious Aotearora New Zealand trees display poppy red flowers in spring. The trees differ with the southern rata possessing dark green pointed leaves while the pohutukawa has shorter rounded leaves that have a whitish velvety texture on the underside.Pohutukawa tends also to have more stamens and as a result denser and more prolific flowers.

Differences aside, these two trees have a significant history.

Both are thought to live for at least 1000 years and their timber has long been prized for its hardness and durability and shape and was embraced by early boat builders.

Trees That Count: Fund New Zealand Native Trees Online, Project Crimson is funding the planting of trees.  With your help.

@Maunga Hikurangi @Maunga Hikurangi
Beautiful Pohutukawa red flowers blossom on the wharf of Tutukaka Marina, New Zealand Beautiful Pohutukawa red flowers blossom on the wharf of Tutukaka Marina
A pair of lovely Cook Strait Giant Weta, Somes Island, New Zealand @hendriksannemieke
A pair of lovely Cook Strait Giant Weta, Somes Island @hendriksannemieke

NEW ZEALAND CREEPY CRAWLIES

The weta is the largest insect in the world, weighing at 70g. The weta loves carrots and has ears on its knees.

Powelliphanta snail which has a carnivorous diet of earthworms (which it sucks up through its mouth), weighs 90g and can live for up to 20 years.

2001 NEW ZEALAND CENSUS

The 2nd highest religion was ‘Jedi’ over 50,000 kiwis. The highest per capita in the world at this time. Kiwis are definitely Star Wars fans

NEW ZEALAND BUTTER MOUNTAINS

The country produces 100kg of butter and 70kg cheese for every person. It’s a good job kiwis export the vast bulk or our waistlines would be enormous

@Whitestone Cheese @Whitestone Cheese
@thejunctioncheeseshop @thejunctioncheeseshop

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