More Facts About New Zealand 2
23. In 2013, NZ legalised same-sex marriage.
24. Lake Taupo was formed by a supervolcanic eruption 26,000 years ago. The dust from the eruption could be seen in modern day China.
25. New Zealand is home to the giant weta, the heaviest insect in the world. It is heavier than a sparrow and looks like a giant cockroach.
26. Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, is the world’s steepest street. The road has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38 per cent grade.
27. 15% of NZ’s population are Māori.
28. New Zealand is similar in size to the UK, but only has a population of about 4 million (compared to 63 million in the UK).
29. About one third of the country is protected national park.
30. NZ was voted the world’s best country in 2007 and 2008 by Wanderlust magazine.
31. Pelorus Jack was a dolphin who guided ships through dangerous and rocky waters around NZ in the early 1900s.
32. There are only two countries in the world where drug companies are permitted to advertise to the public: New Zealand and USA.
33. Kiwi Nancy Wake was the Gestapo’s most wanted person during World War II. She once killed a SS sentry with her bare hands.
34. More people live in Auckland than in the whole of the South Island.
35. The logo for the Royal New Zealand Air Force is a kiwi- a flightless bird.
36. In the Lord of the Rings films, the beer drunk on camera was a custom NZ brew called ‘Sobering Thought’.
37. The filming of these movies pumped around $200 million into the country’s economy. The New Zealand government even created a Minister for Lord of the Rings, to ensure the most money could be made from the films.
38. In 1996, a man broke into a radio station in Wanganui and took the manager hostage, demanding that they play the Muppet song “Rainbow Connection”.
39. Two NZ rescue dogs were taught to drive a car around a track, in order to prove the intelligence of shelter animals.
40. The Kiwi badminton team name was ‘The Black Cocks’, but after a year, had to change it due to complaints.