Though relatively small in size, New Zealand is a beautiful country with a rich culture, stunning mountains, breathtaking sceneries, massive glaciers, and beautiful beaches. There is a lot to learn about New Zealand, and one way to get your children excited to know about this beautiful country is through fun facts! These New Zealand fun facts are sure to get your children excited to learn about and visit this country!
History of New Zealand
The native people of New Zealand are called the Maori people, and they first arrived in canoes to New Zealand from Polynesia somewhere around 1320 and have been living in the islands ever since. Their culture is unique and rich, and due to the centuries of isolation on the island, their culture evolved in very different ways compared to the other Polynesia cultures. The Maori people developed their ceremonies, language, crafts, and other beliefs that are native only to New Zealand.
New Zealand is now a country though it is an island in the South Pacific and part of the Commonwealth of Nations. The capital city of New Zealand is Wellington though the most populous city in the country is Auckland.
Geography of New Zealand
The name for New Zealand in Maori is “Aotearoa,” which can be translated to “the land of the long white cloud.” This term is believed to have a practical and a mythological meaning because the cloud formation over the sea has helped the early travellers find their way to the country when on the sea.
Though New Zealand is one country, it consists of two islands- the North and the South, though the south is less populated than the North Island. The North Island contains both the most populous city in New Zealand (Auckland) and the capital of New Zealand (Wellington). Around 75% of the inhabitants of the country live on the North Island. However, the South Island is the larger of the two Islands though it is less populated and considered the most beautiful.
New Zealand is very popular for its unique and amazing landscapes. Since it is an isolated country, over 80% of the fauna and flora are native to New Zealand. Its fragile ecosystem is something that the government of New Zealand fiercely protects. Besides these beautiful animals and plants, the country is also famous for its stunning natural landscape. From hot springs to glaciers, sandy beaches to beautiful mountains, the country has it all!
Facts About New Zealand People and Culture
New Zealand has a rich culture and unique people. Few facts about them include:
New Zealand People Facts
- New Zealanders are sometimes called “Kiwis,” and they have a history shaped by their isolation.
- Today, the Kiwis are no longer farmers, and over 86 percent of the people native to the country live in the cities.
- Most people in the country live in the city of Auckland, while the Southern part of the country is significantly less populated.
New Zealand Culture Facts
- The Maori culture is an essential part of New Zealand.
- “Te Reo,” the Maori language, is one of the official languages of the country.
- The Maoris have influenced and named most of the current locations in the country.
- They have so many legends in the country that explains everyday parts of nature, like the tide.
- Another significant part of modern-day New Zealand is the rugby culture.
- The culture in the country is very laid-back, and the people are friendly and warm.
Nature Facts of New Zealand
Bountiful nature and an abundance of greenery are some of the things New Zealand prides itself on. Here are some exciting nature facts about the country:
- Since New Zealand was isolated for a long time, it has unusual and rich wildlife not present anywhere in the world.
- Though the country is rich in birds and reptiles, it is one of those very few places on earth where you cannot find a snake.
- Due to its geographical location, New Zealand is the first place on the planet to see the sunrise each day.
- The country is a huge exponent of renewable energy and uses geothermal power, hydropower, and wind energy as its primary power sources.
- The country has so many volcanoes, and most of them have been dormant for thousands of years now.
- New Zealand has over 120 km long coasts.
Facts About New Zealand Animal and Economy
Check out these interesting New Zealand government facts and animals’ facts for kids!
New Zealand Animal Facts
- There is only one type of native land mammal in New Zealand, the short-tailed and long-tailed bats. The introduced land mammals include New Zealand rabbits, cats, rats, dogs, and more.
- Most land animals on the island are birds, and most species of birds there have lost the ability to fly, and this is one reason why they could not defend themselves against the European settlers and the Maori people.
- In the last millennia, half of all the species in the country became extinct due to the draining of swampland and deforestation.
- The country has the heaviest insect in the world called the giant weta.
- New Zealand has six different species of penguins, and they live and breed in the country.
- The Kiwi birds are the only birds on the planet with nostrils located at the end of their bill. They use these to smell insects present on the ground.
- The living descendant of the era of dinosaurs is the Tuatara, and they are famous for having a third eye at the top of their head.
- The South Island of the country houses a species of snail that are carnivores. They can grow as large as an adult’s fist but are no threat to humans since they can only eat bugs and worms.
New Zealand Economy Facts
- The government in the country runs on a parliamentary democracy system that was used in Britain.
- The country’s primary industry is tourism, and it has over 2 million visitors every year.
- New Zealand is the leading exporter of kiwifruit, butter, lamb, and wine.
- The main economic sectors in the country are fishing, agriculture, manufacturing, forestry, and mining.
- The essential natural resources are coal, natural gas, silver, iron ore, and gold.
- The main seaports of the country are Tauranga, Auckland, Napier, Otago, and Wellington.
Facts About Famous Things of New Zealand
The country is famous for many things, ranging from nature to food to worldwide records. Here are some of them:
- Kiwi is not just an animal; it has three different meanings: a kiwi bird (the country’s national bird), a dry kiwi (a person born in the country), and the kiwi fruit.
- 30 percent of New Zealand is a national reserve since the country is a natural paradise, which is not protected will become an ecological threat.
- The Lord of the Rings movies were primarily filmed in this country, and there are even options for tourists to take a tour of the Hobbiton movie set.
Other Important Facts and Information of New Zealand for Children
Children are sure to get enamoured by these interesting and incredibly cool facts about the country.
- New Zealand is one of the first countries that gave the right for women to vote, initiated in the year 1893.
- There are more sheep in the country than people.
- The country is home to the steepest road globally, known as Baldwin Street that has a slope of 19 degrees.
- There are three official languages in the country- Maori, sign language, and English.
- It was one of the last countries in the world to be inhabited by people since its history dates back only to a few hundred years ago.
- One of the most popular fun New Zealand facts about food includes the country being a top exporter of various dairy products.
- New Zealand has a traditional war dance that used to be performed by the Maori people known as the “Haka.” It was also the ceremonial dance performed by women and men in the country.
- The country is sometimes visited by orcas that come to feed on the dolphins.
- The highest mountain in the country is Aoraki Mount Cook. It was just called “Aoraki,” which can be translated to “Cloud piercer.”
Soak in all the beauty and charm of the country right from your home and educate your children with these fun facts!