Moving to New Zealand? Here are some fun facts that you might not know!
New Zealand was host to the world’s first commercial bungee jump in 1988. It was a 43-metre jump off Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown. Henry van Asch and A J Hackett worked closely with scientists at Auckland University to stress test cables and finally got government permission to open. Since then, over 150,000 people enjoy the adrenalin rush when they bungy jump at various venues in New Zealand.
Women’s Vote and Women Hold High Positions
In 1893, New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote. They seem to have carried on along this path as in 2006, New Zealand became the only country in the world where all the highest positions in the country were held by women – the Queen, the Prime Minister, the Governor-General, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justic.
Auckland’s other name is the ‘city of sails’ as there are more boats per capita than any other city in the world. There are also 120 yacht clubs in New Zealand with well over 350,000 members in a country where the population is only around 4.7 million. This isn’t really surprising as there isn’t anywhere in the country that is further than 79 miles from the sea.
World’s Longest Place Name
The world’s longest place name is a hill in Hawkes Bay: – Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapolaiwhenuakitanatahu
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Everest, was a New Zealander. As was Baron Ernest Rutherford, the first person to split the atom in 1919.
Famous Kiwi filmmakers include Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame and Jane Campion, who directed ‘The Piano’. It’s estimated that just the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy brought a massive $200 million into the economy. Since then, and with the release of the Hobbit, tourism has boomed with people coming to visit the Hobbiton Movie set which sits on a 1,250 acre sheep farm.
Another famous Kiwi is Harold Gillies who was a pioneer in the field of plastic surgery.
Golf is the most popular sport among Kiwis and there are more golf courses per capita than in any other country in the world.
Snakes and Nuclear Power Stations
There are no native snakes in New Zealand and no nuclear power stations.
Kakapo and Hector’s Dolphin
The kakapo is the world’s only flightless parrot and it lives in New Zealand. The smallest marine dolphin, Hector’s dolphin, is only found off the shore in New Zealand.
National Parks and Last Habitable Land Mass
Around one third of New Zealand has been designated as protected national park. New Zealand was the last habitable land mass in the world to be populated.