10 Reasons Why New Zealand Is Awesome

In light of New Zealand’s gay marriage legalization, here are 10 awesome facts about the country.

1. New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.

In 1893, New Zealand allowed women to vote and also became the first country with universal suffrage for both men and women. Kate Sheppard (pictured above) was an influential figure in New Zealand women’s suffrage.

2. The legal drinking age for New Zealand is 18.

Persons under 18 can drink if accompanied by a parent or guardian which is fantastic (and potentially disastrous for parents).

3. There are no terrestrial snakes in New Zealand.

Two sea snake species irregularly visit New Zealand (around 35 sightings since 1930), so it’s a safe bet that you’ll probably never see them there.

4. Gisborne is the first major city in the world to see the sunrise.

Another plus: the region has a yearly average of 2,200 sunshine hours.

5. It was the filming location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Director Peter Jackson is also from New Zealand which makes it even more awesome.

6. Sir Edmund Hillary was the first person to successfully climb Mt. Everest.

New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary (left) and fellow climber Tenzing Norgay (right) accomplished this journey on May 29, 1953.

7. Sheep outnumber New Zealanders 9 to 1.

On the South Island, the ratio is 20:1.

8. It’s home to the longest place name in the world.

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a Maori name for a hill in New Zealand. The Maori name translates to “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.”.

9. For each person who lives there, New Zealand produces 100kg of butter and 65kg of cheese each year


10. The country’s national rugby team, All Blacks, have war dances before each game.


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