20 Amazing Facts About New Zealand You Never Would Have Guessed

11Cromwell Chafer

Cromwell Chafer

On a small field outside of the town of Cromwell in the South Island of New Zealand is a beetle called the Cromwell Chafer (Prodontria lewisi). The beetle is found nowhere else on the planet. The entire species can be found on an 81-hectare nature reserve.

12Rivers and lakes

Rivers and lakes

In Auckland, New Zealand, 62% of the rivers and lakes are graded as poor by the Ministry for the Environment for swimming, and 0% of the rivers and lakes are graded as good.

13Dawn Raids

Dawn Raids

The Dawn Raids in Auckland, New Zealand back in the mid-'70s to early 1980s involved special police squads conducting raids on the homes and workplaces of overstayers throughout New Zealand usually at dawn. Overstayers and their families were often prosecuted.

14Baldwin Street

Baldwin Street

The world's steepest street is Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand. At its maximum slope, it measures 19° or 35%.



The 2011 Christchurch earthquake caused a shortage of Marmite sandwich spread in New Zealand for more than a year. The crisis was named "Marmageddon."

16Gisborne Airport

Gisborne Airport

Gisborne Airport in New Zealand is one of the very few airports in the world that has an active railway line intersecting the runway.



On the 2001 New Zealand census, 53,715 people listed their religion as “Jedi.”

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18Bob Semple tank

Bob Semple tank

New Zealand's first tank was the Bob Semple tank. It used corrugated iron armor on a tractor base, with 6 machine guns as armament. After public ridicule, Bob Semple stood by his design, saying "I don’t see anyone else coming up with any better ideas."

19Whanganui River

Whanganui River

As of 2017, Whanganui River, New Zealand's third-largest river is legally a person.

20New Zealand Navy

New Zealand Navy

New Zealand was the last Navy in the world to stop the traditional midday rum ration.

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