10 Weird Facts About New Zealand   NZ Pocket Guide #1 New Zealand Travel Guide
Photo: megastudy

Home of the hobbits, birthplace of wellies and land of the long white cloud, New Zealand is a unique and kind of obscure country that us backpackers can’t help but love. . The landscapes, people, and the vast amount of things to do in New Zealand make it such a perfect place to visit.

Here are some weird and wonderful attractions in New Zealand for your holiday.

1. Longest Name in Any English Speaking Country

10 Weird Facts About New Zealand   NZ Pocket Guide #1 New Zealand Travel Guide
Photo: Globotreks

The 85 characters long Maori name for a hill in Hawke’s Bay is the longest place name found in any English-speaking country and recognized in the Guinness World Records for the longest place name in the world. 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”.

2. Get wet in Wellington

10 Weird Facts About New Zealand   NZ Pocket Guide #1 New Zealand Travel Guide
Photo: gapyear.com

Wellington Cuba Mall is home to a structure made of buckets all filled with water. The water spills down to the fountain but along the way it splashes passers-by and has become a bit of an attraction. Come the weekend, you know it’s party time when bubbles are added to the fountain and fill the mall.

3. There is a Big Obsession for Big Things

10 Weird Facts About New Zealand   NZ Pocket Guide #1 New Zealand Travel Guide
Photo: atlasobscura.com

It’s not as dodgy as it sounds, but New Zealand towns really like to make their presence known by displaying large sculptures to let everyone know what they are famous for. There’s a giant kiwifruit in Te Puke, a giant kiwi bird in Otorohanga, a giant soft drink bottle in Paeroa, and even a giant noodle culpture in Auckland. There are so many of these giant sculptures that we made an entire list dedicated to them.

4. No Snakes!

New Zealand does not have any land snakes, but it is visited on occasion by the yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platurus) and the banded sea krait (Laticauda colubrina). These snakes live in salt water and swim long distances to the shores of New Zealand from place, like the islands of the South Pacific, New Guinea, Australia and Southeast Asia. Although small, both are poisonous, and potentially hazardous to local fauna and humans alike. With 35 confirmed sightings since 1930, there is a better chance of seeing a sea snake than a land snake in New Zealand, but the odds are you won't encounter either.

5. New Zealand has only one native mammal

10 Weird Facts About New Zealand   NZ Pocket Guide #1 New Zealand Travel Guide
Photo: dangerous-business.com

Before settlers began arriving, the country had only one mammal – a bat the size of your thumb. Most of the country's native fauna come in the form of birds, and many of the native bird species in New Zealand are flightless (like the kiwi, takahe, weka, and kakapo) because there were, historically, no large land predators to endanger them. When Europeans arrived, however, they brought with them invasive species like possums, stoats and rabbits that threatened a lot of the native birds (which is why many of them are now endangered).

6. Very high sheep-to-human ratio

10 Weird Facts About New Zealand   NZ Pocket Guide #1 New Zealand Travel Guide
Photo: dangerous-business.com

There are 9 sheep per each person in New Zealand, making it the highest ratio in the world. So, there are roughly a little over 4 million people in New Zealand, which means there are over 30 million sheep in New Zealand!. You'll find sheep farms all over the country, including huge sheep stations (where they farm thousands of sheep) on the South Island.

Because of the large number of sheep, you can find lamb and mutton on just about any menu in New Zealand – including the one at Subway.

7. Official Sign Language

New Zealand has 3 official languages! While English is the predominant language spoken in New Zealand, Maori is also an official language, in honor of the native people that originally inhabited the islands.When looking at the numbers, only about 3 percent of the population actually speaks Maori, but the two languages can be found everywhere. Most place names in New Zealand have both a Maori and an English name, with many of them going by just the Maori name. And, as of 2006, NZ Sign Language is the country's third official language. Way to go, NZ, being one of the first countries to do this.

Isn’t New Zealand so unique and beautiful? What other facts do you know about the country? Share them on comment box! If You Liked This Article…You’ll probably definitely like these articles:

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