About New Zealand
New Zealand is an island nation in the South West Pacific Ocean. Because of our remoteness we were one of the last lands on earth to be populated. Our land is about the size of California, however there are only just over 4 million of us living there (California, of course, has about 40 million residents).
Due to our long isolation, New Zealand has a distinctive biodiversity of animal and plant life. New Zealand’s incredible scenery made its first real appearance on the world stage through the Lord of the Rings trilogy which made the jaws of filmgoers around the globe drop. We have so much more to offer than what was fitted into the scenes of the movie however. We have wonderful sand dunes, coastline, and islands as well as mountains, caves and tunnels! One of the things which makes the scenery so special here is how few people are around. You can enjoy many beautiful beaches, coves, forests and mountain ranges without a bunch of other people around.
Our culture is one that enjoys the outdoors and values a relaxed and healthy lifestyle. In the evenings and weekends we love playing sports, going for walks and enjoying outdoor BBQs. We know we’re blessed to have such a beautiful country and so despite being known for our relaxed, informal and laid back nature, we do get fired up about protecting our natural environment and the pure beauty New Zealand has to offer. Luckily for us our unspoilt natural environment is part of what gives us such amazing quality, fresh food.
Here are some more fun facts about New Zealand’s natural heritage:
- We have 14 national parks and about one-third of our land area is protected by parks and reserves.
- We produce only 0.2% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions and New Zealand was one of the first countries to pledge a carbon-neutral future.
- No one lives more than 80 miles from the sea.
- New Zealand has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world – currently there are approx. 7 sheep to every person, however in the 1980s people were outnumbered 22 to 1!
- No fresh vegetables, fruit or meat sold in New Zealand is genetically modified.
- New Zealand is home to more species of penguins than any other country.
- In 1893 New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote. Okay, so that’s not anything to do with our awesome natural environment – but it is super cool fact about New Zealand and one that we’re very proud of.