Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
135Trip End Sep 23, 2011
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Where I stayed
After waiting forever for our driver we headed through to the gumboot capital, Taihape, and stopped in Bulls, where all the shops and buildings here are named after the town. For example the police station is named 'Consta-Bull'. Kiwi's are a strange bunch! We then continued to Wellington which is located directly on a major earthquake line. Wellington is known as the cultural capital of New Zealand, but unfortunately as we didn't arrive until late we did not have a chance to explore so we ate and then went to bed.
As our stop here was such a bore we thought we would pass on some weird and wonderful facts we have learnt about New Zealand so far:
1. Less than 5% of the population of New Zealand is human - the rest are animals, giving one of the highest ratios of humans to animals in the world. For example, there are 9 sheep to every 1 person in NZ. Population of people: 4 million. Population of cows 4.4 million. Population of sheep 36 million.
2. Prostitution, soliciting, and brothel keeping is legal in NZ
3. Until the 1950s, it was technically illegal for farmers to allow their cattle to mate in fields fronting public roads, for moral reasons!
4. The kea, a native bird to New Zealand, likes to eat the strips of rubber around car windows.
5. New Zealander and Nobel Prize Winner, Ernest Rutherford is known as the father of nuclear physics for his orbital theory of the atom. Yet nuclear arms and power are outlawed. To this day, there are no nuclear power stations in New Zealand, and a change of law would be required before one could be built.
6. The longest place name in the world still in use is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu…...a hill in Porangahau in the Hawkes Bay. The Maori name translates to "the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as Landeater, played his flute to his loved one."
7. The Government can legally plough through your house to build a canal.
8. New Zealand is home to the largest flightless parrot (kakapo), oldest reptile in the world (tuatara), biggest earthworms, smallest bats, heaviest insect (a weta) and has found the world's first carnivorous snail....yep!
9. Inhabitants of the New Zealand cities Of Longbern, agitated by the attacks of cats on defenceless birds, passed a law, which forbids a cat from leaving the house without three bells on around its neck.
10. The smallest denomination in New Zealand's currency is 10 cents. Yet they still price their items to the cent. Because they can’t pay the exact amount they will round the price up or down to the nearest 10 cents. So if the total comes to $9.87. They will round this up to $9.90. Strange.
11. There are about 70 million possums in NZ, that’s about 20 per person. In one night, 70 million possums chomp their way through about 20,000 tonnes of vegetation. As there are no natural predators in NZ and so many of NZ’s native plants are endangered the Kiwi’s ask you not to swerve your car to avoid them in the road - flatten them, eat lots of possum pies, buy souvenirs made out of possums including the willy and nipple warmers and finally go possum hunting!