Are you itching to visit New Zealand? If you are, you might want to learn a thing or two about this beautiful country and its amazing people. Here are 15 interesting things about New Zealand you should know about.
1. New Zealand is pretty much snake-free.
If you have a fear of snakes, then New Zealand is just the right place for you. The country is devoid of snakes. It also has no poisonous spiders, killer jellyfish, and other deadly creepy crawlies that can give you nightmares.
2. New Zealand has only one native mammal.
Before European settlers arrived in New Zealand, the country had only one mammal: a bat the size of your thumb. But as the years went on, the settlers started bringing in invasive species like possums, stoats, and rabbits.
3. The locals farm deer.
Aside from sheep and cows, deer are raised in New Zealand for their meat and it was said that New Zealand venison is very delicious.
4. There are more sheep than people in NZ.
Sheep is a favourite livestock in the country. As a matter of fact, there are more than 40 million sheep in NZ, whereas the country’s population is just a little over 4 million.
5. The locals are very environmentally conscious.
The Kiwis (New Zealanders) are perhaps amongst the most environmentally conscious people on the planet. They have electric buses, more recycling bins than trash cans, and almost every toilet has a half-flush option to conserve water.
6. There’s a range of climates.
New Zealand is an amazing country because there you can find deserts near snow-covered volcanoes and glaciers that descent down through temperate rainforests.
7. NZ has two official languages.
The country has two official languages: English and Maori. English is the predominantly spoken language in NZ while Maori is to honour the native people who originally inhabited the islands.
8. Drivers stop for pedestrians.
Want to cross the street? Don’t worry; you don’t have to rely on a stoplight because drivers will be the ones to stop for you every time.
9. The first man to climb Mt Everest is a Kiwi.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the top or Mt Everest, was from New Zealand, which is quite fitting because NZ is known for being the “adventure capital of the world.”
10. The Kiwis invented modern bungy jumping.
Bungy jumping in its current form began in New Zealand in the 1980s, thanks to AJ Hackett, who designed the elastic bungy cord.
11. The government is unicameral.
NZ is being run by a prime minister and a House of Representatives.
12. Milford Sound is a must-see.
Milford Sound is a stunning fjord located in NZ’s Fiordland National Park. In 2008, it was named the world’s top travel destination.
13. Tipping is not required.
Unlike in the US and other countries, you don’t have to leave a tip after dining out.
14. You don’t get a bill at your table when dining out.
To pay for your meal at a restaurant, you have to go up to the register and pay. Servers won’t bring your bill to your table.
15. Forget the change.
In NZ, there are no 1-cent and 5-cent coins because the country has phased them out a few years ago. Most prices either end in 0 or are rounded up.