It is estimated that around 4 million people visit New Zealand every year which is almost the same amount as the whole population of the country. For most of the tourists, New Zealand is a long way from home which makes this travel destination even more special. New Zealand is formed by two islands – North Island and South Island. As the country is so remote it was one of the last places that were inhabited by humans. If you have chosen New Zealand as your next travel destination there are many surprises ahead. From 12 active volcanoes, stunning nature, wild animals, as well as rich and beautiful culture. New Zealand is one of the most popular travel destinations amongst all the travel addicts.
1. Bungee jumping was born in NZ
You cannot leave New Zealand if you have not yet tried bungee jumping. This extreme activity began when young men from Vanuatu were tying tree vines around their ankles and jumping down from wooden towers. Nowadays bungee jumping is much safer and well thought out. New Zealand is the hotspot for bungee jumpers as well as other activities such as river boarding, paragliding, wakeboarding, skiing, and snowboarding.
If you have chosen to try out bungee jumping here are some things you can choose from: single-man bungee, water-touching bungee, and tandem jump. Jump from a bridge, building or even a helicopter, the locals and tourists know no limits.
Use the services of AJ Hackett Bungy Auckland where you can jump from the open ledge of the Sky Tower building or go for the famous ocean touch bungee jump from the Harbor Bridge.
Try another location where you can jump and swing from the Canyon with Shotover Canyon Swing or Nevis Bungy which is the highest platform used for bungy jumping in New Zealand.
If you are just starting out we recommend a little less extreme experience with Agroadventures in Rotorua they are known to be very budget-friendly.
2. There are 3 official languages
The official spoken language in New Zealand is English, so do not worry if you are traveling for the first time. In 1987 Maori became the second official language and it was followed by sign language which is also considered an official language of the country.
The Maori language is so unique that it is not spoken anywhere else in the world, unfortunately, the language is quickly dying out as English is used more. Maori is now used less in the educational system and locals are fighting to save it by using their language in media as well as implementing new programs in schools. From the total population of New Zealand which is around 4 million only 130,000 people speak Maori.
When visiting New Zealand as a sign of respect keep in mind some easy basic phrases like:
Kia ora – Hello
Kei te pehea koe? – How’s it going?
Kei te pai – Good
Haere rā – Goodbye
Kia mihi – Thank you
New Zealand sign language was based on the British, Australian sign languages. As the second official language in New Zealand is Maori some of the signs are also based on this language. It became an official language in 2006 and surprisingly, sign language is used more than the Maori among the locals.
3. Kiwi bird native to NZ
The ancient Kiwi bird evolved 70 million years ago, today you cannot see them as much in the wild, but they are so well known that the citizens of New Zealand are called Kiwis because of the famous bird.
You can find two species of Kiwi birds in New Zealand, the Brown Kiwi mostly found in the North Island and the Spotted Kiwi that can be seen in the south and north island forest areas. Brown Kiwis are around 40 cm tall, females can weigh up to 3 kilograms and males up to 5 kilograms. Unfortunately, the Brown Kiwi species are endangered and quickly dying out because of the wild predators.
Little Spotted Kiwi or also known as little Grey Kiwi weighs only about 2 kilograms and they are the smallest species of Kiwis. These nocturnal animals are the national symbol of New Zealand and somewhat a mystery. The Kiwi bird is not able to fly and it is not completely clear how the birds arrived in New Zealand in the first place.
If you wish to see a Kiwi Bird, unfortunately, you won’t be able to stumble upon them in a regular park. Head to the National Kiwi Hatchery at Rainbow Springs where the birds are preserved and protected from the wild predators.
4. Auckland is full of Volcanoes
Auckland is home for 50 volcanoes in the small area of 1000 square kilometers. The most famous and active volcano is the Rangitoto, you can find it on the Rangitoto Island, the volcano is 260m high, it formed around 600 years ago as a result of an eruption which formed this island.
Auckland’s tallest volcano – Mount Eden provides the best view of the city. This volcano formed around 30,000 years ago and today it is very popular amongst the tourists as well as locals and it is easily accessible.
The largest volcano in Auckland is the – One Tree Hill. This volcano also serves as a monument, on the top of it lays the grave of the Auckland city founder Sir John Logan Campbell.
The latest volcano eruption appeared in 2019 it happened on the White Island or also known as Whakaari. The White Island is located 48 kilometers away from North Island. This volcano is known as one of the most active volcanoes in New Zealand.
If you wish to learn more about New Zealand Volcanoes and Maori history and visit the most interesting ones we recommend joining the Auckland Volcanic tours.
5. No snakes in New Zeland
Unlike the neighbor country Australia which is known for the wild and dangerous animals New Zealand has no dangerous animals. New Zealand is one of the most animal-friendly countries in the world, they have animal sanctuaries and conservation centers which serve for the wellbeing as well as the preservation of the animals that are endangered.
You can find the most extraordinary and beautiful animals while traveling around New Zealand. It is the most perfect place for the animals as they can run freely. You can find bats, 6 different species of penguins, Kea parrots which are known to be the hooligans of the country, lizards, large snails, giant birds, kiwis and many more.
Even though there are no snakes in New Zealand we would like to warn you that on rare occasions you might stumble upon a white-tailed or the redback spiders. These should be avoided as they can give you a pretty painful bite.
New Zealand national parks, marine reserves as well as conservation parks are constantly looking for new employees that will help with animal care, cleaning, training, observing as well as passing the knowledge to others on how to help to preserve the species that are on the verge of extinction.