Australia, its nearest neighbor, is 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away.
New Zealand has more than 50 volcanoes, some of which are still active today
The South Island is home to the highest mountain peak in New Zealand, Mount Cook, which rises to 12,316 feet (3,754 meters)
More people live in the city of Auckland on North Island, than the whole population of South Island.
Rugby is the favorite sport and nearly everyone cheers on the national team, the All Blacks
Nearly all the land animals are birds and many of these species have lost the ability to fly, for example, the Kiwi bird
Tourism is the main industry in New Zealand with over two million visitors a year
The Maori people arrived by canoe from islands in Polynesia near Tahiti around 1,000 A.D.
New Zealand was named Nieuw Zeeland after a region in the Netherlands
In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote
There are no snakes in New Zealand
New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary became the first man in world, along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, to summit Mt. Everest in 1953. He also became the first man to drive overland to the South Pole in 1958
The Maori named the country, Aotearoa, "The Land of the Long White Cloud.