A selection of interesting facts about New Zealand will tell you about some events from the history of this country located in the Southern Hemisphere, about geography, climate, inhabitants, entertaining and amazing incidents, as well as nature and animals.
History of discovery and settlement
The history of human settlement in New Zealand is only 1 thousand years old, when the first people, representatives of the Maori tribe, sailed here from Polynesia. They started hunting and farming.
According to the historical facts about New Zealand, the first inhabitant from Europe to set foot on this land and see its beauty was the traveler Abel Tasman from Holland. In 1642, he went here on the instructions of the governor of the Dutch Indies.
However, Tasman's acquaintance with the local population of the island ended tragically: the New Zealanders killed 4 sailors from his ship, and this affected the future reluctance of the settlers to come here. And the Maori in those years quietly went about their daily business.
It took more than 100 years until the ships of J. Cook (1769) sailed here again, whoengaged in surveying the coast and was able to determine the presence of not one, but two islands at once, the strait between which was later named after him. Cook spent 3 months exploring New Zealand, cruising between the islands and marking the coastline.
Only after Cook's expedition, settlers from Europe began to arrive here, as well as missionaries and whalers.
By the beginning of the 19th century. the population of the islands consisted of only 2 thousand Europeans, and the number of Maori was much larger (about 100 thousand). As interesting facts about the country testify, in New Zealand these 2 groups of residents coexisted quite peacefully. To offend or humiliate local natives among Europeans was considered an unworthy deed. The visitors believed that they had come here to bring ideas of enlightenment and progressive innovations to a backward people.
In 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was concluded with the Maori, guaranteeing the protection of their property and civil rights, which were granted by Britain in exchange for establishing its power. During these years, the number of Europeans arriving in New Zealand increased dramatically, and convicts (as in Australia) were not brought here.
In the 1860s and 1870s, there were small colonial conflicts between the local population and Europeans, mainly over land ownership. Gradually, the number of Maori declined due to massive diseases that were introduced by the arriving colonialists. In 1902, the process of assimilation was successfully completed, the number of mixed marriages increased, manyof them began to cooperate.
Since 1947, New Zealand has become an independent dominion, and since 1986 this has been reflected in the State Constitution.
Modern New Zealand is a we althy country and one of the most comfortable in the world for the population.
Interesting facts from the history of New Zealand:
- the islands were the last large landmass to be inhabited by humans;
- the mapping of New Zealand was the last of its kind, which happened only when previously unknown large areas of land were discovered;
- New Zealander Edmund Hillary was the first person to summit Mount Everest.
Geography and location
New Zealand is located almost at the end of the world. The nearest land is 1.7 thousand km away - this is Australia, which is separated from it by the Tasman Sea. Nature and climate here are unpredictable and very diverse. The islands have several active volcanoes that can change the surrounding landscape or scenery at any time.
The islands are dominated by a varied terrain, ranging from mountains and hills to sandy beaches. 75% of the territory is located at an altitude of 200 m above sea level. Interesting facts about New Zealand, its climate and geographical features will be given below.
South and North Islands
The South Island is crossed by the famous mountain range called the Southern Alps. Here is the highest point - Mount Cook, aroundwhich has 18 more peaks, the height of which exceeds 3 km. Through the slopes of the Southern Alps, glaciers descend to the coast of the Tasman Sea. Here you can admire the beautiful and impressive fjords.
In the western regions of the island, large areas of ancient forests have been preserved, which are protected by the state, because they are unique, and nowhere else on the planet are there. Therefore, several national parks have been set up here to protect them. This is evidenced by one of the interesting facts about New Zealand, that 1/3 of the country's territory is National Parks, which are under state protection.
The eastern regions of the island represent a more flat surface, the lands of which have been developed by man for agricultural purposes.
The North Island is home to most of the country's population. The terrain is flatter, there are fewer mountains, but there is high volcanic activity.
Curious facts about New Zealand
- The country covers the territory of the islands, which are located in several climatic zones at once, ranging from the subtropics to the cold southern regions. That is why New Zealand is considered the most diverse country in the world in terms of geography and climate.
- The North Island is volcanoes, deserts and sandy tropical beaches, while the South Island is plains, mountains and glaciers.
- The capital of the state, the city of Wellington, is the southernmost capital of the state on the planet.
- Although the islands have unusual topography, none of them extend beyond 128 km.
- One of the most beautiful New Zealand lakes - Taupo was formed in the crater of an extinct volcano as a result of a powerful eruption 70 thousand years ago.
- 75% of the population lives in the North Island and 25% in Auckland (South Island);
- For every New Zealander, there are 9 sheep, i.e. their total number exceeds the population of the country many times over.
- The famous Blue Lake is considered to be the most transparent in terms of the water it contains.
- The City of Auckland is listed as one of the most livable cities in the world.
- The world's longest beach, said to be 145 kilometers long, is actually only 90 kilometers long.
- Dunedin has the world's steepest street, Baldwin, with a 38° slope.
State and local authorities
The most interesting fact about New Zealand is the unitary structure of this state, that is, its management is based on the principles of a constitutional monarchy (the country is nominally ruled by the Queen of Great Britain) and parliamentary democracy. Officially, the Kingdom is not a state, and therefore not internationally recognized.
The country is divided into 17 regions (councils), each of which has local self-government. Each council is responsible for many areas: the transport system, environmental issues, etc.
In addition, there are 74 departments in the territory responsible for the region's communications, providing life support systems, supervising construction, etc.
The capital of New Zealand is the city of Wellington, where more than 400 thousand people live. Its name is given by the name of Arthur Wesley, Duke of Wellington, who was the famous English commander who won the Battle of Waterloo, as well as the Prime Minister of Great Britain. The perpetuation of his name took place as a gratitude for the support and implementation of the successful principles for the colonization of the country, which were developed by the founder of the city, W. Wakefield.
Wellington has several more nicknames:
- Wellywood (derived from the fusion of the words Wellington and Hollywood);
- Wind City.
The capital of New Zealand is located in the south-west of the North Island, in the place formed after the volcanic eruption of the bay, and is included in the seismic zone. The bay is part of the Cook Strait, which separates the 2 islands. The climate in it is subtropical maritime.
Facts about government
However, the list of interesting facts about New Zealand is not yet exhausted.
- New Zealand is the most sparsely populated country on the planet (about 4 million inhabitants).
- The country has 2 anthems at once: its own and the national anthem of Great Britain, because Queen Elizabeth II is formally considered the ruler, her duty is to approve the documents adopted by the local parliament.
- There are 2 official languages in the country - English and Maori, which is spoken by representatives of the Polynesian natives.
- One of the statelanguages here is sign language.
- The state of New Zealand is one of the most peaceful and safe in the world, there is practically no corruption here.
- Back in 1987, the country opposed the use and use of nuclear energy by humans, so in the 21st century there are absolutely no nuclear power plants here, and ships using nuclear energy or having nuclear weapons on board are not allowed to enter its waters.
- The liberality of politics in New Zealand can be judged by the fact that in 1893 here, for the first time in the world, the state gave the right to vote to the weak half of humanity (women).
Animals and birds
Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about New Zealand is information about the representatives of its animal world.
- The country's symbol is the non-flying kiwi bird, which is also featured on the country's Air Force logo.
- There are no snakes at all in New Zealand, but there are many lizards living at an altitude of almost 2 km (geckos and skinks).
- Before the settlement of the islands by humans, the only endemic mammals here were 3 species of bats: long-tailed and short-tailed, as well as sheath-winged, the latter catching prey on the surface of the earth, moving through the grass in the forest with the help of folded wings.
- Another species of endemic animal is the frog, which has hardly changed over the past 70 million years.
- Now the maximum number of penguin species lives here, which no longer exist, but seals and whales were almost completely exterminated in the 19th century.
- OnThe islands are home to the giant predatory snail Powelliphanta, which feeds on earthworms.
The above facts about New Zealand allow us to rightfully call this state, its structure, inhabitants, climate and nature unique and extraordinary.