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Travel :: New Zealand

New Zealand is a tiny country with more sheep than people. So why is it turning up in all your fave flicks? Find out more about the country Hollywood can't get enough of!

Where is New Zealand?

New Zealand is "down under" in the South Pacific. It's about 1,245 miles (2,000 kilometers) off the east coast of Australia. The country is made up of two main islands: the North Island and the South Island. The capital of New Zealand is Wellington, which is on the North Island.

A Brief History of New Zealand

More than a thousand years ago the Maori (the aboriginal people of New Zealand) made their way to New Zealand from Polynesia. In 1769, Captain Cook was the first European explorer to visit the country. In 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, which made New Zealand a British colony. After that, European immigration soared. Now New Zealand is a self-sufficient member of the Commonwealth, and many believe they will become an independent republic in the coming years.

New Zealand Goes Hollywood

You might not know it, but you've probably seen New Zealand in some of your favorite movies. The beautiful, unique landscape of New Zealand makes it the natural home of Middle-Earth. That's right, all three of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed in New Zealand. The award-winning movie Whale Rider was also shot in New Zealand.

New Zealand - Did U Know?

  • The national animal of New Zealand is the large, flightless kiwi bird.
  • New Zealanders are often called kiwis.
  • New Zealand also grows a round, furry fruit called the kiwi fruit.

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