5 things you (probably) didn’t know about New Zealand

  1. New Zealand is home to more species of flightless birds than any other country in the world. Flightless birds that can be found in the country include a number of different types of penguins, the takahe, the kakapo parrot, and, of course, the Kiwi.
  2. Despite only being a small county, a number of everyday inventions have their origins in New Zealand. For example, tear-back Velcro strips, the pop lid on self sealing paint tins and child-proof pill bottle lids were all invented in NZ.
  3. The world’s longest place name still in use is found in the Hawke’s Bay region. At 85 letters long Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukaka-pikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu is the name of a hill in the region. Its Maori translation is ‘The place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as Landeater, played his flute to his loved one.’ Catchy!
  4. Baldwin Road in Dunedin is said to be the world’s steepest residential street. Measuring approximately 350 metres in length, the road rises from 30 metres above sea level at the bottom to over 100 metres at the top. For every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the elevation changes by 1 metre.
  5. During the NZ summer months, Gisborne, located on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is the first city in the world to see the sun each day. However, two other cities, Suva in Fiji, and Nuku’alofa in Tonga, are closer to the International Date Line and so, for a fair part of the year they see the sun first.

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