New Zealand 101

Hey guys. So this is slightly inspired by my dear friendΒ 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?

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Thanks Map of World.com

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.

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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?

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Auckland
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Wellington, the home of me

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.

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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.

Auckland

Visit the Sky Tower, that’s pretty cool. It’s the highest point in the city, and you get good views.

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Rangitoto Island – A volcano, there’s quite a few of them in Auckland, and in NZ in general.

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Waiheke Island – Subtropical climate, vineyards, sandy beaches. I have never been, but I plan to at some point I swear.

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Queenstown

Milford Sound – See Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls that are mightily impressive (especially in winter). This is on my bucket list.

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The Remarkables – an impressive mountain range (also seen in Lord of the Rings), which is also a popular skiing range.

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Skyline Gondola and Restaurant – you get up to it via a chairlift. Gimme.

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Rotorua

Devil’s Pool anyone?

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Mud pools if that’s your thing

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Geysers – cause who doesn’t like explosions?

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Christchurch

Botanic Gardens

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International Antarctic Centre

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Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

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Wellington

Mt Victoria

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Museum of New Zealand a.k.a. Te Papa

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Zealandia

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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.

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Please save us, we’re cute.

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 isΒ wrong!Β Each person can only have around 6 sheep, so there!

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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.

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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.

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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
  • Β “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

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Giant L’n’P bottle

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Giant carrot

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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.

Angela.

47 comments
  1. Great post and amazing pics!! Been really wanting to visit New Zealand but didnt get the chance. Def next on my bucket list, such a beautiful country! πŸ™‚

    1. You definitely should!! There’s so many amazing places to see here πŸ˜€

  2. Wow I had no idea your country was so beautiful. Breathtaking landscapes. I’m so going there someday, especially now that I have friends to meet for coffee πŸ™‚ you’re bigger than us but we are 11 millions. 10 points if you can point at Portugal in the map without Google πŸ™‚

    1. New Zealand is definitely incredible, and has a lot of natural, awesome landscapes to come see πŸ˜€
      Yeah, it just occured to me that NZ is only small in terms of population, but our country isn’t too small. We are very spread out. I honestly have no idea where Portugal is, I’m gonna have to sacrifice the 10 points as I need our friend Google πŸ˜€

  3. I really liked this post! πŸ˜€ The kiwi bird was so cute! A lot of great pictures, so when the zombies come I’ll know where to go πŸ˜‰

    1. Haha, thank you! And yes exactly, zombies can never get here, as we never register on maps πŸ˜€

  4. Ayy this is awesome! I’m glad you made your own 101 post! They’re a lot of fun(: and my best friend’s family is from New Zealand so this was really cool to read! Love ya bb <3

    1. Thanks Alli! And yay for more kiwis!! <3

  5. I really enjoyed this. NZ looks beautiful and diverse. I love nature and being outside. The kiwi bird is so cute! Your populations so small! We have 8.5 million people where I live (London) and 65 million the whole country. X

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading this! NZ is definitely a unique country in many respects, and yes we are so very tiny XD

  6. I have always wanted to visit New Zealand! I love the pictures especially the island. I have learned so much through this post! 😊❀

    1. Thanks Andy! I’m glad you learned something from the ramblings! XD <3

      1. My pleasure! And the mud pool. Is it naturally green? Where is it located? Haha sorry for the questions its just really bugging my mind.

        1. Fair enough. Those are in Rotorua. The green pool is called Devil’s Pool, I think it’s sulfuric, so it’s not for human beings to go in, unless you want to really damage your skin XD
          Rotorua has heaps of mud pools though which you can actually go in πŸ˜€

          1. Woah. I see. Haha thank you so much. Gotta add that to my list. 😁😁

  7. New Zealand looks soooo pretty! I would like to visit someday! Unlike Australia. I have no intention of going there. It seems like everything there is trying to kill you. New Zealand sounds pretty and safe though.

    1. NZ is gorgeous! And yes funnily enough, even though Australia and NZ broke off from the same continent millions of years ago, none of their crazy dangerous stuff came with us, it’s all in Aussie XD
      I will say though, Australia is gorgeous!! Just stick to the cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Sunshine Coast. Don’t ever go into the outback. I visited Sydney and came across no spiders or snakes πŸ˜€

      1. Hahahaha I’ll think about it! NZ sounds much nicer though!!

  8. New Zealand looks amazing!! I loved learning more about it. I hope I get to visit some day. I would love to see that bra fenceπŸ˜‚

    1. It really is! I’m glad you learnt more about my little home country πŸ˜€

  9. I played a similar game. It’s called Infection 2. I wiped out the entire world πŸ™‚

    1. Haha, those types of games are so much fun! Is New Zealand on the map for Infection 2?

      1. It sure is.

  10. I want to visit New Zealand one day πŸ™‚ I thought about doing an au pair placement there, but I’m a bit of a home person and the thought of not being able to come home for a year didn’t sit well with me! But I’ll make it there some day!

    1. Fair enough, a year away from home sounds really hard. But definitely come over some day for a holiday! πŸ˜€

      1. I definitely will one day πŸ™‚

  11. Great to find out a bit more about New Zealand!! I’m definitely putting it on my list of countries I want to visit 😊 xx

    1. I’m glad you learnt a little more about New Zealand πŸ˜€
      That’s great to hear Amelia πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah definitely πŸ˜ŠπŸ’— xx

  12. What a lovely post! Kiwi birds are so adorable <3
    We would love to visit New Zealand, I hope we can scrape together enough money some day….*v*

    1. Thank you Nina! They are indeed adorable, I do hope you’re able to visit one day πŸ˜€

  13. Your country looks beautiful. I have not traveled much outside of the United States, but similar to beauty I think would have to be Costa Rica: I been there three years ago. One of my favorite states in my country is Alaska due to its beauty, but there are other states I love there as well.

    1. There’s so much beauty in the world πŸ™‚

      1. I have seen mountains, beaches, glaciers, different types of wildlife, a rainforest

  14. Great post. The pictures make me want to visit! I learned so much from your post, and you’re right, we don’t know/learn much about New Zealand in some places of the world.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you learnt more about New Zealand from my post πŸ™‚

  15. Yes this really was a perfect New Zealand 101, I don’t think I even knew where it was on the map until today haha although I did know that it was its own little island. I’m glad you incorporated the map of the cities, It’s so much easier to visualize distance when you mention different locations. Also Devils Poo???!!! Say whatttt?!!?? Is that somewhere where people can swim? The mud pools look really cool too. I lovee all the natural wonders they have there, especially that area where Lord of the Rings was filmed, so cool!!!

    xo, JJ

    1. Yay! Thanks Jenny, I’m glad I could show you a little more of NZ. We are literally just on the corner of the world πŸ˜‚, but that does explain why I’m always ahead of everyone timezone wise.
      I also just realized that it’s Devil’s Bath, not Devil’s Pool πŸ˜‚ I don’t know if you can swim in it…it’s got high levels of something. But apparently, centuries ago, people did use to go in it

  16. Wow what an insight!! I knew a few of these things as we live next door to a Kiwi πŸ˜‚ He always watches the rugby with himself and reminds us often how good the all blacks are!! Sign language is a national language?? That’s so cool!!! 😘

    1. Ah yes, rugby is huge for the kiwis. But i just don’t really pay attention to it πŸ˜‚

      1. You need to watch the scotish team…. swoonnnnnn…. 😍

  17. Haha love this! x

    1. Thank you! πŸ˜€

  18. I like your article. I just came back from NZ a week ago. I see many are inspired by their journeys to share anything interesting about NZ. I also just shared on my blog as well.
    Cheers!

  19. Amazing photos. I just came back from NZ about a week ago. I love the country. We went to similar places. I am also inspired by my trip this time.

    1. Hehe thanks!! New Zealand is definitely a great place to visit! Also, I saw you commented twice. New comments normally need approval before they go through on my site. Sorry about that! But you’re in now πŸ˜€

      1. Oh sorry about that too. Thanks though. I am very new to the blogging. Just started my blog.

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