Hey guys. So this is slightly inspired by my dear friend Alli, who does a series where she researches places she doesn’t know much about, then enlightens us all on what she learnt. I’m taking a bit of a different route, and talking about a country I do know a lot about, and that I live in. It’s going to be slightly informative, but also poking fun a little at my lovely home country.
So, hey, where is New Zealand?
Yes, there we are in the corner. We are often forgotten in most maps in a lot of forms of media, and other things. I have a game called Pandemic, and we like to point out that NZ is barely on the map. In fact, in many movies, if a map comes up, see if NZ is on there. Most times, it’s a no. Which means in all wars and zombie outbreaks, we must be safe and laughing at the rest of the world as it crashes and burns.
So, let’s learn more about this tiny country made up of a few islands at the bottom of the world.
New Zealand has three official languages. English, Maori and Sign Language. The major player is English. But Maori is in the process of being ‘revitalised’, and is often taught in schools. I know many songs in Te Reo Maori, as well as phrases, words, and a few prayers (thanks to my work). Here’s a link to the Maori alphabet song, which frankly I sing more than the traditional English version (It’s so much more peppier).
Our population is around 4.5 million. 1.4 million live in Auckland, and the rest are just scattered everywhere. The second most populated city is Wellington, where 405,000 reside. Did I mention that New Zealand is small?
Okay, let’s look at a couple more towns, because New Zealand is not only made of Wellington and Auckland.
Here is a map of the whole country, that lists all the major towns.
In terms of the most popular tourist destinations (according to Google), the cities you should go for are Auckland (it is the biggest city and definitely touristy), Queenstown (good for thrill seekers, bungee jumping, skiing, etc), Rotorua (geysers, mud pools), Christchurch (historic buildings), and Wellington (the capital).
Let’s break this down. I’m gonna look at three things I like in each city. There’s way more obviously, but I don’t want this to go on forever.
Visit the Sky Tower, that’s pretty cool. It’s the highest point in the city, and you get good views.
Rangitoto Island – A volcano, there’s quite a few of them in Auckland, and in NZ in general.
Waiheke Island – Subtropical climate, vineyards, sandy beaches. I have never been, but I plan to at some point I swear.
Milford Sound – See Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls that are mightily impressive (especially in winter). This is on my bucket list.
The Remarkables – an impressive mountain range (also seen in Lord of the Rings), which is also a popular skiing range.
Skyline Gondola and Restaurant – you get up to it via a chairlift. Gimme.
Devil’s Pool anyone?
Mud pools if that’s your thing
Geysers – cause who doesn’t like explosions?
International Antarctic Centre
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Museum of New Zealand a.k.a. Te Papa
There’s a reason NZ is known to be a green country. It’s cause we literally are. Hills, trees, plants everywhere. Also, water everywhere, as we are an island. You’re never too far from a beach, or lake.
So now that I’ve done some cultural stuff. Here is what NZ seems to be known for in terms of the rest of the world.
We have a lot of native birds, many are endangered. Especially our national bird the kiwi, who can’t even fly.
We have a lot of sheep yes. There used to be a myth that to each person in NZ, they could have 20 sheep. Well that is wrong! Each person can only have around 6 sheep, so there!
Lord of the Rings was filmed here, yes. Peter Jackson is from here yes, and yes Weta is here. But they boosted our tourism hugely, and now Weta is in demand for Hollywood constantly.
Our rugby team All Blacks is one of the best in the world. Which yay I guess, but I really don’t give a hoot about sports.
Now let’s look at some videos that went viral about this little country.
This lovely little video is now how everyone thinks we speak. Which, a little yes, but it’s clearly an exaggeration. Also, you want a chup bro?
And one of our many anti drink and driving commercials (it is actually a bit of an issue here unfortunately).
Now we end on random kiwi phrases I’ve heard, and sometimes use myself
- “Kiwi” – not the bird, it means a person of NZ nationality
- “Yeah, nah” – Yes I hear what you’re saying, but no I don’t want to. Kinda passive aggressive
- “Sweet as” – Cool/awesome
- “She’ll be right” – means it’ll turn out okay
- “All good/no worries” – it’s okay
- “Bro” – friend
- “Stubbies” – short shorts for dudes
- “Not even” – not true or nooooooo
- “You alright?” – How are you?
That’s all I can think of right now.
So yes, New Zealand is a beautiful green country, which lots of natural beautiful sights. But it also has quirks. So, let’s end on the delightfully weird side of NZ, for which I will give no explanation as its funnier that way.
Cardrona Bra Fence
Giant L’n’P bottle
So this is a very random post, where I just wanted to share a little more about my home country. I hope you all learned something, and also maybe look a little more in New Zealand, as I barely skimmed the surface.