For a country of 4.5 million people, New Zealand has not done too badly!
Here are just a few examples:
- New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote (1893)
- It was in fact a New Zealander, Richard William Pearse who took the world's first flight (nearly two years before the Wright Brothers in the United States). On 31 March 1902 Pearse managed to fly his home-made aircraft 91 metres in a field near Timaru
- There are more golf courses in New Zealand per capita of population, than any other country in the world (over 400 golf courses for 4.5 million people)
- Auckland has the largest number of boats per head of population than any other city in the world
- William Hamilton, a Canterbury farmer, developed and perfected the propellerless Jet Boat based on the principle of water jet propulsion. Following this, Hamilton went on to invent the hay-lift, an advanced air compressor, an advanced air conditioner, a machine to smooth ice on skating ponds; the water sprinkler and also contributed to the improvements of hydro-power
- A New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first person to climb Mount Everest (with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953)
- Baron Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealander, was the first person in the world to split the atom (in 1919). Earlier to this, Rutherford also succeeded in transmitting and detecting 'wireless waves' a year before Marconi, but left this work to pursue researching radioactivity and the structure of the atom at Trinity College in Cambridge, England. Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work
- New Zealand is the first country in the world to see each new day
- Curio Bay in Southland is one of the world's most extensive and least disturbed examples of a petrified forest (the forest is approximately 180 million years old)
- New Zealand is the birthplace of the meringue dessert known as the 'Pavlova', named after the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova
- Wellington has more cafes and restaurants per capita than New York
- The vineyards of Central Otago, New Zealand, are the southernmost vineyards in the world (45° South)
- In 2002 New Zealand's total sheep population was 47,390,000 however in recent years a higher population of dairy cows have replaced many sheep! New Zealand has the largest dairy company in the world, Fonterra.
- Tongariro National Park was the second national park to be established in the world (Yellowstone National Park in the United States was the first)
- The Hector's Dolphin (the world's smallest marine dolphin), and the world's rarest sea lion, the Hooker's sea lion, are only found in New Zealand waters
- New Zealand is home to the world's only flightless parrot, the Kakapo as well as the only alpine parrot in the world, the Kea
- The oldest living genus of reptile is the native New Zealand Tuatara. Tuataras have a life expectancy of 300 years. It is estimated that Tuataras can be traced back 190 million years to the Mesozoic era
- New Zealand is the current holder of yachting's most prized possession - The America's Cup - which will be challenged on the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, defended by Team New Zealand
- A New Zealander invented the tear back velcro-strip
- The pop-lid on a self sealing paint tin was also invented by a New Zealander, as was the child-proof pill bottle and the crinkle in your hairpins so that they don't fall out!
- A New Zealand archbishop's son invented the totaliser machine used for racing and sports betting
- Waikoropupu Springs located near Nelson, are reputedly the clearest fresh water springs in the world with an outflow of approximately 2,160 million litres of water every 24 hours
- Frying Pan Lake near Rotorua, is the world's largest hot water spring reaching a temperature of 200°C at it's deepest point
New Zealand lies in the Southern Pacific Ocean 1.600 km east of Australia. It consists of the North and South Islands and a number of smaller islands with a total land area of 266,171 sq km.
We are the envy of our neighbours boasting Magnificant Mountain Ranges ( especially the Southern Alps, located in the South Island ) and Rolling Hill Country together with Vast Fiords ( S.I ), Glaciers ( S.I ) and Many Lakes ( North and South ) which are the most striking physical features of the South Island. We offer Adventure, Recreation, and all in a relaxed atmosphere. Your biggest problem will be "what to do first".
In the North Island, the volcanic interior contains New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo, and most of the country's active volcanoes - Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro - all usually quiet. Trail bike heaven. Hot springs, geysers and mud pools also form part of the volcanic system centered around Rotorua.
- Highest mountain Mt. Cook/Aoraki (3,754m). Located in the South Island.
- Deepest lake Lake Hauroko (462m)
- Longest river Waikato River (425km)
- Largest glacier Tasman Glacier (29km long)
- Deepest cave Nettlebed (889m)
- Population: 4,530,000 (Oct 2014)
- Most Active Nightspot: Queenstown.
- Fastest moving glaciers in the world: Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier