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Whether you’re riding through movie sets, hurtling along in jet boats or heli-skiing in the mountains, it’s practically impossible to be bored in New Zealand. Here are 15 other reasons why this quirky country ceaselessly surprises us
While on a Lord of the Rings tour, you can ride a horse that was featured in the film.
New Zealand was the first place in the world that legalised women’s vote – girl power!
Adrenalin addicts, your Motherland is calling.
According to Beef and Lamb NZ there are seven sheep for every person, which equates to roughly 30 million sheep.
While they say that New Zealand has no poisonous spiders or snakes, it’s not quite true. There are a few sea snakes and marine snakes off shore and the Red Back spider has found its way over from Australia. However, on the whole, the land mammals are a pretty friendly bunch.
The Lord of the Rings saga wasn’t the only award-winning blockbuster that was filmed there. James Cameron’s highly successful Avatar was also filmed in Middle-Earth and he is now filming three sequels.
Edmund Hillary sharpened his climbing skills on Mount Cook before successfully taking on Mount Everest.
Move over Lombard Street, New Zealand’s Baldwin Street in Dunedin is the steepest in the world.
There are more helicopters per capita than anywhere else in the world.
Ernest Rutherford is the father of nuclear physics, yet there’s absolutely nothing nuclear in New Zealand.
They sing God Save The Queen and God Defend New Zealand.
When Tasman discovered the South Island of New Zealand, he named it Staten Landt, assuming it was connected to Staten Island, Argentina.
There is a hill called Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu (translation “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one”). Those 85 letters make it the longest place name listed in Guinness World Records
There is a giant albino snail in New Zealand that is carnivorous.
The country’s native species are all bird life when the land mass split from Australia years ago. The bird life was hunted to extinction by the Maoris for survival and for sport by the Europeans.
From $26,330 pp
Explore the vineyards, arts and crafts, and beaches of Waiheke Island
Soar over White Island and Rotorua in a private helicopter
Discover Maori culture, heritage and legends
Enjoy a food tour of Wellington culminating in a romantic three-course meal with wine pairings
Spend two days discovering the Southern Alps wilderness
When to go:
From $10,830 pp
Explore 6,000 acres of virgin beech forest at Poronui Lodge
Cruise around the breathtaking beauty of Abel Tasman National Park
Fly over glacial landscapes and cruise the magnificent Milford Sound
Discover trout fishing on the rivers and lakes of Rotorua
Enjoy a zipline adventure through evergreen forests at the Mamaku Plateau
When to go:
From $6,500 pp
Experience three of New Zealand’s top luxury lodges
Play a round of golf on two of the world’s top golf courses
Enjoy scenic flights over some of New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes
Meet the kiwi, New Zealand’s rare and endangered national bird
Discover the beauty of Milford and Doubtful Sounds on South Island
When to go: