Think you know New Zealand? Think again! Here are 5 crazy facts about the country that will definitely surprise you!
1. Christchurch used to have a local wizard!
There’s no denying New Zealand is a magical place, and that’s not just because it was the set of Lord of the Rings! In 1982, Christchurch actually appointed an official wizard to rule over the city! His job was to cast spells (obviously), cheer up the population and cast out evil spirits.
2. New Zealand is one steeeeeeeeeep country
In fact, you’ll find the steepest street in the world in Dunedin! It’s Baldwin Street with a gradient of 1 in 2.86 (that means for every 2.86 m you will walk there will be a rise of 1 m). The people of Dunedin make the most of this, and hold a Jaffa Race each year. It’s just what it sounds like – people take part in rolling a Jaffa Lolly down the hill!
3. They’re living in the future.
Sort of. New Zealand’s East Cape is situated just under 500km from the international dateline, meaning they’re the first country in the world to see a new day. Wow!
4. There’s a place with a name that’s 89 letters long.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu. Yep, it’s real! It’s a hill near Porangahau in southern Hawke’s Bay.
5. There’s a bird that eats cars.
Well ok, they don’t eat the WHOLE thing. The native kia bird is known for pulling windscreen wipers off cars and eating the strips of rubber from windows! Yum?
Did any of these surprise you? Number 4 is pretty crazy…