Interesting facts about New Zealand (2022)

Whether you’re looking for practical planning tips or you’re interested in New Zealand’s history and culture, here are some facts to get you started.

Also Read: Facts about Auckland

Country

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island and the South Island —and more than 700 smaller islands, covering a total area of 268,021 square kilometres.

Name

New Zealand is named after the Dutch province called Zeeland which means country by the sea. The Māori name of New Zealand is Aotearoa which means “land of the long white cloud”.

Language

Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages of New Zealand.

English is the most widely spoken language in the country, with over 95% of the population using it in their everyday lives, compared with Māori (4.1%) and New Zealand Sign Language (0.5%).

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Kiwi Slang

Barbie (Barbecue)Good as Gold (Great)No Sweat (No problem)
Bro (Brother, Friend)Heaps (A lot)OE (Overseas experience, long term holiday)
Bush (Forest of Trees and Plants)How’s it going mate? (Greeting, how are you?)Op Shop (Second-hand shop)
Down Under (Australia, New Zealand)Jumper (Sweatshirt)Ripped off (Paid too much)
Footy (Rugby)Knackered (Exhausted)Sweet As (Very good)
Gidday (Hello, Good day)Mozzie (Mosquito)Togs (Swimwear)

Māori words that are often used in daily life in New Zealand:

Whanau- Family

Kumara – Sweet Potato

Haere Mai – Come here

Population

New Zealand’s population is estimated at just over 5 million according to Stats NZ 30th December report. 87% of the population in New Zealand is urban.

Largest City

New Zealand’s largest cities are Auckland and Wellington in the North Island, and Christchurch in the South Island.

Capital

Wellington has been the capital of New Zealand since 1865.

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Weather

Weather in New Zealand can be unpredictable. Locals like to joke that you can experience four seasons in one day!

Temperatures

  1. Spring = September – November with an average daytime temperature 16 – 19°C (61 – 66°F)
  2. Summer = December – February with an average daytime temperature 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F)
  3. Autumn = March – May with an average daytime temperature 17 – 21°C (62 – 70°F)
  4. Winter = June – August with an average daytime temperature 12 – 16°C (53 – 61°F)

When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

Summer is the most popular time to visit New Zealand. The months are December, January and February.

If you’re someone who would prefer to enjoy sunny days, but with fewer crowds, the best time to go to New Zealand is in autumn. From March to May the weather is still reasonably warm, especially in the north.

Currency

The official currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).

  • Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2.
  • Notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.

Foreign currency can simply be exchanged at banks, several hotels and Bureau de Changes, which can be found at international airports and most city centres.

Costs

Accommodation: – Pricing depends on the place, time of year, day of the week and size of the property. We have A rough estimate in NZD$ for the following places to stay, rental or purchase.

(Video) 101 Facts About New Zealand

  • Campsite: $10-$35 per person, per night
  • Dorm bed in a hostel / backpackers: $17-$35 per night
  • 3 star motel / hotel room: $80-$250 per night
  • Property rental: between 1,650 – 2,050 NZD
  • Average house price: 461,000 NZD

Transport: We have listed a rough estimate with NZD$ on how much it is to either hire or purchase a vehicle in NZ.

  • Economy car hire – NZ$20-60 per day
  • Motorhome hire – NZ$40-$120 per day
  • A cheap car can be priced for about $1000

Food: The following prices are a rough estimate in NZD$.

  • Breakfast $17
  • Dining out $17
  • Meal per day is $43

Tipping and Service Charges: Tipping in New Zealand is not necessary to tip at restaurants, hotels, bars, salons, or spas, as well as in a taxi, unless the service exceeds all expectations. However, tipping for good service is at the discretion of the visitor.

Time Zone

New Zealand’s 2 main islands, North Island and South Island, both lie in the same time zone. The Chatham Islands, located about 860 kilometers (534 miles) east of Christchurch, have a separate time zone, which is 45 minutes ahead of mainland New Zealand.

National Anthem

“God Defend New Zealand” is one of two national anthems of New Zealand, the other being “God Save the Queen”. Legally the two have equal status, but “God Defend New Zealand” is more commonly used. Originally written as a poem, it was set to music as part of a competition in 1876.

National Flag

New Zealand’s national flag is a Blue Ensign with the Southern Cross of four red five-pointed stars centred within four white five-pointed stars making eight stars in total with the colours dualing each other on the outer half of the flag. The New Zealand flag was designed by Albert Hastings Markham.

(Video) 15 reasons why New Zealand is the best country in the world

National Symbols

National symbols for New Zealand include:

  • Silver fern – A species of medium-sized tree fern, endemic to New Zealand. Often referred to by its Māori name, ponga, the silver fern has been used to represent New Zealand since the 1880s.
  • Kiwi bird – he term Kiwis has been used as a nickname for New Zealanders since at least World War I, and the bird’s use as a symbol for the country dates from the same era.
  • Kōwhai Flower – Evergreen tree, producing bright yellow flowers in spring. Blooms of kōwhai are found throughout New Zealand in a diverse range of habitats.

National holiday

  • New Zealand’s national holiday is Waitangi Day on 6 February each year which commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 by the Maori chiefs and Great Britain. The Treaty of Waitangi is recognised as the founding document of New Zealand.
  • New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday, Labour Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Prime Minister

New Zealand Prime Minister is Jacinda Ardern.

Cultural Icons

  • The All Blacks – The country’s national rugby union team.
  • The Haka – A traditional Māori war dance, now widely used by sports teams as a challenge and by schools as a tribute or honour.
  • Hei-tiki – Traditional Māori ornamental pendants.
  • Kiwi fruit – This fruit was branded kiwifruit when growers in New Zealand established successful cultivars suitable for export. It remains a major export for the country.
  • The Lord Of The Rings – The film director Peter Jackson’s film trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand.
  • The Beehive – The distinctly shaped executive wing of New Zealand Parliament Buildings, built in the 1970s.
  • Mitre Peak – A distinctive peak which dominates Milford Sound, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.
  • Sky Tower – the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere which opened in 1997.

Driving in New Zealand

  • If you wish to drive in New Zealand, you must hold a valid international driver’s licence or a driving permit accompanied by the driver’s licence that the permit is based on.
  • In New Zealand you are to drive on the left-hand side of the road and our vehicles seat the driver on the right.
  • The road conditions in New Zealand are often narrow, hilly and windy with lots of sharp corners.
  • Outside of the main cities, there are not many motorways. Most of the roads in New Zealand are single lane in each direction without barriers in between. You may also find gravel roads.
  • There are rest area signs across the roads where you can stop.
  • Always check the weather forecast before departing, and adjust your plans accordingly, as in New Zealand you can experience four seasons in one day.
  • Drink driving is dangerous and New Zealand has strict penalties if you are caught doing so. In New Zealand, the legal drink drive limits for drivers 20 years and over are a breath alcohol limit of 250 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath and a blood alcohol limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. If you’re under 20 there is a zero alcohol limit.

Mobile and Internet Access

If you’re looking to stay connected to the internet and phone services everywhere you go, it’s recommended that you purchase a plan from one of New Zealand’s main networks. Note that mobile coverage is not available in some rural and wilderness areas.

The main networks are:

  • Vodafone
  • Spark
  • Skinny
  • 2Degrees
  • Orcon Mobile

Data and mobile packs range from $19, depending on how much data you require and how long you are in New Zealand.

New Zealand currently has limited access to free WiFi services. Free WiFi hotspots are found mainly in urban areas and are not common in small towns or rural regions.

(Video) 10+ Awesome Facts About New Zealand

  • Free WiFi in city centres (central Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Dunedin).
  • Some of New Zealand’s accommodation providers provide free WiFi for guests. Always best to check before you go ahead and book.

FAQs

What's New Zealand famous for? ›

A small island nation home to around 4.5 million people located in the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is famous for its national rugby team, its indigenous Maori culture and its picturesque landscape. If you're an international student considering studying abroad, New Zealand may be a long way from home.

How Old Is New Zealand country? ›

New Zealand became a dominion in 1907; it gained full statutory independence in 1947, retaining the monarch as head of state. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 5.1 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders.

What's a fun fact for the day? ›

Fun Facts and Trivia
  • It is impossible for most people to lick their own elbow. ...
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • A shrimp's heart is in its head.
  • It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

What is New Zealand known as? ›

New Zealand has been called "God's own country" and the "Paradise of the Pacific" since the early 1800s. New Zealand is sometimes known, both in the indigenous Māori language and by Pakeha, as Aotearoa, translated as Long White Cloud.

How did New Zealand get its name? ›

Sometime later a cartographer from the Dutch East India Company bestowed the name Nieuw Zeeland after the coastal province Zeeland in the Netherlands. The Dutch had very little to do with the country from then on, and when James Cook arrived in 1769 he anglicised the name to New Zealand.

What fruit is famous in NZ? ›

The kiwifruit is perhaps the most famous New Zealand fruit. Also known as the Chinese gooseberry or simply the kiwi, it has a brown fuzzy skin with green or yellow flesh inside.

Why do people love New Zealand? ›

Home to some of the most stunning attractions, New Zealand comes with magnificent natural landscapes to discover. Imagine lakes, fjords, snow-covered mountains, cliffs, dunes, waterfalls, river valleys, underground caves, geothermal springs, and national parks.

Who is the most famous New Zealander? ›

Public rankings
  • Ernest Rutherford (1871–1937) – scientist.
  • Kate Sheppard (1848–1934) – suffragette.
  • Edmund Hillary (1919–2008) – explorer and humanitarian.
  • Charles Upham (1908–1994) – war hero.
  • Billy T James (1948–1991) – comedian.
  • David Lange (1942–2005) – prime minister.
  • Āpirana Ngata (1874–1950) – politician.

What is New Zealand traditional food? ›

For dishes that have a distinctly New Zealand style, there's lamb, pork and cervena (venison), salmon, crayfish (lobster), Bluff oysters, whitebait, paua (abalone), mussels, scallops, pipis and tuatua (both are types of New Zealand shellfish), kumara (sweet potato), kiwifruit, tamarillo and pavlova, the national ...

Why is New Zealand so beautiful? ›

Aotearoa has been named as the third most beautiful country in the world, according to an influential travel guide. Rough Guides highlighted New Zealand's "rolling green hills, majestic mountains, breathtaking fiords and amazing diversity of landscape from one island to the next" as the reason for its high rating.

What is New Zealand culture? ›

The New Zealand culture is open-minded and welcoming to people of all countries and cultures. As a country we value kindness, tolerance and friendship. We're open-minded and welcoming toward all religions and uphold the right to freedom of religion, worship and belief for all. Kiwis.

Is New Zealand rich or poor? ›

The economy of New Zealand is a highly developed free-market economy. It is the 50th-largest national economy in the world when measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the 63rd-largest in the world when measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).
...
Economy of New Zealand.
Statistics
Current account−$5.471 billion (2017 est.)
39 more rows

What was New Zealand first called? ›

When James Cook arrived in 1769, Nieuw Zeeland was anglicised to New Zealand, as can be seen in his famous 1770 map. Cook renamed Te Moana-o-Raukawa as Cook Strait, and imposed dozens more English place names.

Who lived in New Zealand First? ›

Māori were the first inhabitants of Aotearoa New Zealand, guided by Kupe the great navigator. Learn more about the arrival of Māori.

Did U Know scary facts? ›

Scary Facts to Make Your Skin Crawl
  • Humans shed skin too. Like, a lot of skin. ...
  • We could solve American homelessness easier than you think. On average, there are over 17,000,000 vacant homes in America at any given time. ...
  • Your cellphone is more disgusting than a public toilet.
4 May 2020

Did u know facts about life? ›

50 Facts About Life You Won't Believe You Didn't Already Know
  • You should throw away the cotton in your medication bottles. ...
  • It's easy to calculate a tip without a calculator. ...
  • You're tallest first thing in the morning. ...
  • You should sleep with your door closed. ...
  • Sleeping in a cold room can help you slim down.

Did you know facts for 7 year olds? ›

Amazing you
  • Your body has more than 600 muscles in it. ...
  • Every day a little bit of your skin dries up and falls off, becoming dust. ...
  • Your eyes blink all day long to keep them clean.
  • Each of your hands has 14 finger bones.
  • After about age 30, people start shrinking – they get a bit shorter every year.

How do you say hello in New Zealand? ›

Kia ora can be used to say hello, express gratitude, send love and make a connection. Kia ora is a warm and welcoming greeting you'll hear throughout New Zealand and comes from the indigenous Māori language.

Why is NZ important in the world today? ›

Since 1980, New Zealand has been a nuclear free zone. It is a leader in peacekeeping and global security and party to key international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Pacific Islands Forum.

Does New Zealand snow? ›

Most snow in New Zealand falls in the mountain areas. Snow rarely falls in the coastal areas of the North Island and west of the South Island, although the east and south of the South Island may experience some snow in winter.

What are 5 interesting facts about the human body? ›

  • Your eyes blink around 20 times a minute. ...
  • Your ears never stop growing!
  • Earwax is actually a type of sweat! ...
  • The tongue is covered in about 8,000 taste-buds, each containing up to 100 cells helping you taste your food!
  • You produce about 40,000 litres of spit in your lifetime.

Whats the most interesting fact? ›

Interesting Unknown Facts
  • Hot water will turn into ice faster than cold water. ...
  • The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. ...
  • The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. ...
  • Ants take rest for around 8 Minutes in 12-hour period. ...
  • "I Am" is the shortest complete sentence in the English language. ...
  • Coca-Cola was originally green.

Is the Earth named after a god? ›

Earth is the only planet in our solar system not named after a Greco-Roman deity. The name used in Western academia during the Renaissance was Tellus Mater or Terra Mater, the Latin for “earth mother”, i.e. “Mother Earth”, goddess of the earth in ancient Roman religion and mythology.

Did you know facts about food? ›

Here are 10 amusing facts about food that will blow up your mind!
  • During 1800s, it was believed that ketchup has medicinal qualities. ...
  • Chicken contains 266 percent more fat than it did 50 years ago. ...
  • The most stolen food in the world is 'cheese'. ...
  • Peanuts can be used to make dynamite. ...
  • Chocolate was once used as currency.
12 Sept 2020

Do you know facts for students? ›

About 75% of your brain is made of water. Your heart beats about 115,000 times a day. Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in the solar system. The nearest star to Earth is 4.2 light-years away.

Does New Zealand speak English? ›

English is one of three official languages in New Zealand, along with Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) and New Zealand Sign Language. However, the way we speak English sounds very different to the way it's spoken in the USA or the United Kingdom.

Is New Zealand friendly? ›

Friendly and Welcoming People

Kiwis are generally friendly people, with a laidback and positive attitude towards life. Compared to European countries, New Zealand is still a young country. Even Māori, the country's native inhabitants, have only been living on the island for about 800 years.

Is New Zealand beautiful country? ›

New Zealand ranked second most beautiful country in the world.

What does Zealand mean in English? ›

Zealand Origin and Meaning

The name Zealand is both a boy's name and a girl's name meaning "sea land". Zealand is the English translation of the Dutch province name Zeeland (originally Seelant). It's more commonly associated with New Zealand, the Oceanic country named by the Dutch.

What was old Zealand? ›

For those wondering where "Old Zealand" is, it's in the Netherlands and it's called Zeeland. : r/MapPorn.

Where is original Zealand? ›

the Netherlands

What is the New Zealand national animal? ›

The kiwi is a unique and curious bird: it cannot fly, has loose, hair-like feathers, strong legs and no tail. Learn more about the kiwi, the national icon of New Zealand and unofficial national emblem. New Zealanders have been called 'Kiwis' since the nickname was bestowed by Australian soldiers in the First World War.

What do New Zealanders eat for breakfast? ›

A typical New Zealand breakfast is simple. Kiwis start off with cereal and toast accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea, freshly made orange juice, or local milk. Unlike Americans, cooked breakfast is not very common except during the weekends.

How is life in New Zealand? ›

Living in New Zealand is a novel experience for Expats hailing from fast-paced environments. The kiwi way of life is laidback, relaxed, and full of excellent work-life balance. While New Zealand may not be the cheapest country for Expats, it offers unparalleled facilities and a comfortable, multicultural environment.

Is New Zealand good place to live? ›

A great place to raise a family

The country has a strong economy, a great education system, a relatively low cost of living, great healthcare, low crime rates, and beautiful scenery, including national parks and hiking trails. This puts New Zealand at the top of the list of safe countries to raise children in.

Is New Zealand the best place to live? ›

New Zealand is pretty much an expat paradise – it's handled COVID better than most other countries, its progressive leadership has made it one of the most inclusive nations in the world, and there are breathtakingly gorgeous views at every corner.

What is New Zealand's most popular sport? ›

Rugby union

It has the largest spectator following of all sports in New Zealand. New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, has the best winning record of any national team in the world, and is currently ranked forth in the world.

What have New Zealand invented? ›

The Hamilton Jet boat, the ski plane, bungy, blokart and zorb are examples of New Zealand inventions that not only pushed traditional boundaries of travel but also embody the Kiwi sense of adventure by providing unique ways to experience the outdoors.

Who is NZ most famous actor? ›

Russell Crowe

No doubt that he is the most famous of all the New Zealand actors.

How do you pronounce Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu? ›

Taumatawhakatangihangakoaua...

What's a fun fact for the day? ›

Fun Facts and Trivia
  • It is impossible for most people to lick their own elbow. ...
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • A shrimp's heart is in its head.
  • It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

What is New Zealand named after? ›

In December 1642 Dutch navigator Abel Janszoon Tasman was the first European to sight New Zealand's South Island, and Dutch cartographers named the territory after the Dutch maritime province of Zeeland.

What do New Zealanders love? ›

New Zealanders – or Kiwis. Someone from New Zealand might say, 'I'm a Kiwi'., as they're often known – balance time at work with time to relax and unwind. They love exploring the outdoors, playing or watching sport, engaging in art and culture, and generally making the most of life.

Who is the most famous New Zealander? ›

Public rankings
  • Ernest Rutherford (1871–1937) – scientist.
  • Kate Sheppard (1848–1934) – suffragette.
  • Edmund Hillary (1919–2008) – explorer and humanitarian.
  • Charles Upham (1908–1994) – war hero.
  • Billy T James (1948–1991) – comedian.
  • David Lange (1942–2005) – prime minister.
  • Āpirana Ngata (1874–1950) – politician.

How do you say hello in New Zealand? ›

Kia ora can be used to say hello, express gratitude, send love and make a connection. Kia ora is a warm and welcoming greeting you'll hear throughout New Zealand and comes from the indigenous Māori language.

What word takes 3 hours to say? ›

isoleucine is the chemical name for the protein of “titin” also known as “connectin.” The largest known protein that consists of 26, 926 amino acids is made up of 189, 819 letters and can take about three hours to pronounce.

What is the longest name? ›

The longest personal name is 747 characters long, and belongs to Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr.

Who has the longest name? ›

The longest name to appear on a birth certificate is Rhoshandiatellyneshiaunneveshenk Koyaanisquatsiuth Williams. #OTD in 1984, her father looked to extend her first name to 1,019 letters and her middle name to 36 letters.

Did U Know scary facts? ›

Scary Facts to Make Your Skin Crawl
  • Humans shed skin too. Like, a lot of skin. ...
  • We could solve American homelessness easier than you think. On average, there are over 17,000,000 vacant homes in America at any given time. ...
  • Your cellphone is more disgusting than a public toilet.
4 May 2020

Did u know facts about life? ›

50 Facts About Life You Won't Believe You Didn't Already Know
  • You should throw away the cotton in your medication bottles. ...
  • It's easy to calculate a tip without a calculator. ...
  • You're tallest first thing in the morning. ...
  • You should sleep with your door closed. ...
  • Sleeping in a cold room can help you slim down.

Did you know facts for 7 year olds? ›

Amazing you
  • Your body has more than 600 muscles in it. ...
  • Every day a little bit of your skin dries up and falls off, becoming dust. ...
  • Your eyes blink all day long to keep them clean.
  • Each of your hands has 14 finger bones.
  • After about age 30, people start shrinking – they get a bit shorter every year.

What was old Zealand? ›

For those wondering where "Old Zealand" is, it's in the Netherlands and it's called Zeeland. : r/MapPorn.

Is New Zealand rich country? ›

This is why, in the long run, it is better not only to be rich but to be egalitarian as well.
...
Advertisement.
RankCountryGDP-PPP ($)
29Malta54,647
30South Korea53,051
31Kuwait50,919
32New Zealand50,411
141 more rows
1 Aug 2022

Does New Zealand snow? ›

Most snow in New Zealand falls in the mountain areas. Snow rarely falls in the coastal areas of the North Island and west of the South Island, although the east and south of the South Island may experience some snow in winter.

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