Some New Zealand Facts

New Zealand had a population of a little over 4 million people, 15% of the population are Maori, 7% Pacific Islands, 3% Others and the balance are of European descent.

The Maori people named New Zealand “Aotearoa”, the “Land of the Long White Cloud”.

There are 47 million sheep and 70 million possums.

New Zealand is 270,000 km2 and is approximately the same size as Great Britain or Japan.

Mount Cook is New Zealand’s highest peak.

Due to its inlets and harbours we have over 15,000 km of coastline, roughly the same as the United States.

New Zealand’s largest lake is Lake Taupo.

The Huka falls is New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, located on the outskirts of Taupo, over 300,000 litres per second hurdles through the narrow chasm of the falls.

Lake Taupo is 616 sq km and is large enough to fit Singapore inside it with 178m deep its deepest point.

The Lake Rotorua region is an area of geothermal activity with thermal lakes, boiling mud pools and a number of geysers.

The cook strait was first swam by Barrie Devonport in 1962, the fastest swim across the strait is 6 hrs and 49 mins. It has been swam by 57 people and the oldest people to cross was 52 years old.

Able Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch sea fearer who discovered south Island of New Zealand in December 1642. He had set out to find the rumoured great southern continent that stretched the pacific and thought he had found the western side of south America, however it wasn’t till 1645 when explorers realised this was not Staten land and it was given the name New Zealand.

Fiordland in New Zealand is one of the world’s largest National Parks.

Some of the famous kiwi foods to try are kumara(sweet potato), kina(roe from a sea urchin) , L&P soft drink, bluff oysters, whitebait fritters, NZ Vension.

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 extending British rule and confirming Maori land rights.

Franz Josef glacier was named after the emperor of Austria by Julio Haast in 1860. The glacier moves up and down the valley depending on how much snow drops in the neve at the top of glacier. The neve on Franz Josef is 300m deep, it takes around 5 years for the snow to get from the neve to the face.

In 1893 New Zealand became the first country to give women the vote.

Reefton island, between Westport and Greymouth, was orignally called Quartzopolis in recognition of the towns developemnt due to gold rush of the 1860’s. In August 1888 it became the first town in New Zealand to have electricity.

The kiwi, a flightless bird, is the national emblem of New Zealand.

If you have trouble pronouncing some of the Maori names here is a tip, Wh is pronounced as F, eg. Whakapapa is pronounced Fark karh park park and nga or ngo is pronounced with a silent g, eg. narh or nor.

A fern leaf is one of New Zealand’s national emblems.

There are 5 species of kiwi birds, the Great Spotted, Little Spotted, Brown, Tokoeka and Rowl. They are the smallest of the ratite family whih includes emus, ostritch and the external moa.

Ernest Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1908 for his discovery that elements can change their structure naturally. He was first the modern atomic physicist and split the atom.

Kiwi birds produce the largest egg of any bird in relation to its size, nearly six times the size of an average bird the same size.

Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander was an expeditionary leader and the first person to successfully climb Mount Everest, the worlds biggest Mountain.

Common Maori words: Wai = water, roa = long, nui = big, mangu = black, moana = sea, marama = moon, wera = warm, manu = bird, iti = small, roto = lake, waka = canoe, hongi = press noses, hangi = a traditional meal.

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