Visitors come to New Zealand expecting something unique and different, to have a once-in-a lifetime adventure that they will never forget. Aside from the stunning natural wonders, New Zealand is also the word’s self-declared extreme sports capital. Skydiving, bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, river boarding, and many other adventure experiences for adrenaline junkies abound in this wonderful country. Many visitors find the need to take out travel insurance with a special provision to cover special sports and activities.
As much as there are many noteworthy places to visit and one-of-a-kind experiences in New Zealand, there are weird facts that make the country simply stand out above the rest. Visitors will be delighted to discover these five weirdest facts about New Zealand:
Yes, there is no typographical error, you read it correctly. This is an 85-letter Maori name for a hill that overlooks Hawke Bay, New Zealand. This is a relatively ordinary hill, 305 metres high. What makes it unique is that it is the world’s longest place name, according to the Guinness World Records. The name is roughly translated as “The summit where Tamatea, the man with big knees, the climber of mountains, the land swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.” Hawke’s Bay, where the hill is located, offers a lot of activities for visitors with their bike trails, beautiful peaks, stunning lakes, and one of the most sought-after coastal resorts in the country, Waimarama Beach.
2. Population of New Zealand – 6 sheep to every 1 human
The current population of New Zealand is 4.5 million humans, and 27.6 million sheep. In the ’80s, sheep numbers hit a high, with 70 million for every 22 humans. While the sheep population significantly decreased in the past few years, New Zealand still has a strong hold on the sheep meat industry, earning $7 billion annually in export revenue.
3. Te Waikoropupu Springs can provide drinking water for the entire New Zealand population
In New Zealand’s south island, there is a must-see location in a place called Golden Bay, in the Takaka area: Te Waikoropupu Springs. These are the largest freshwater springs in the country, and the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere. These springs are a record breaker in many ways. They produce more fresh water than any other springs in the entire world, in fact, enough to provide drinking water to the entire population of New Zealand. It produces two billion litres of water, and it has one of the clearest natural waters. It is so clear that you can see 63 metres through it.
4. The world’s largest known volcanic eruption in 70,000 years
Lake Taupo is the location of the world’s largest known volcanic eruption in the last 70,000 years. Modern-day Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, is one of the results of the gigantic eruption. The eruption is a series of events, culminating in a very large blast that affected a land area of 20,000 square kilometres. It was such a huge eruption that the dust of the super-volcanic eruption could be seen in modern-day China. Lake Taupo is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. It has a lot of exciting activities and places to visit, such as a sightseeing trip to Huka Falls, an exploration of Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, and a hike to the sacred mountains of Tongariro National Park.
5. New Zealand loves women
New Zealand was the first nation to have universal suffrage for both men and women in 1893. In a trailblazing legislation, Governor Lord Glasgow signed a law which made New Zealand the first self-governing country in the world in which women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Other democracies in the world, including Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia, did not have women’s right to vote until after the World War I. Another woman, Queen Elizabeth II, is officially the queen of New Zealanders, represented by a Governor General. In another trailblazing move for women, in the early 2000s, New Zealand was the first country in the world to have its three key constitutional positions of power held simultaneously by women. The Prime Minister, the Governor General, and the Chief Justice were all women.
If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, it is best to choose travel insurance that covers extreme sports and have special provisions such as unlimited medical and evacuation cover, and with no exclusions for competitive and adventure sports.