Rotomairewhenua: the clearest body of fresh water known to man

Rotomairewhenua, also known as the Blue Lake of New Zealand’s Nelson Lakes National Park, officially holds the title of the clearest lake in the world. Literally translated as the “land of peaceful waters”, Blue Lake is spring fed by the neighboring glacial Lake Constance, and its water passes through a natural debris damn formed a long time ago by a landslide. This debris acts as a natural filter that retains most of the particles suspended in the glacial water, making Blue Lake almost as clear as distilled water. New Zealand’s…

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Te Wairoa Buried Village: a Maori village obliterated by an 1886 volcanic eruption.

Located 24 kilometres south-east of Rotorua, Tarawera is a curious-looking mountain, with several large domes and a broad, flat top. This distinctive profile formed during eruptions around 1314 AD. However, early Māori and the Europeans who arrived in the 1800s did not realise that it was an active volcano and, in June 1886, it came to life in a violent one-day eruption – the deadliest in the history of New Zealand settlement. When Mount Tarawera erupted, the surrounding countryside was completely remade. The eruption killed over 100 people and created…

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Devil’s Bath: New Zealand’s green sulphur pond

New Zealand’s Wai-O-Tapu volcanic area offers a number of roiling, bubbling geothermal sights, but possibly the most intriguing is one of its most calm! Know as Devil’s Bath, it is a bright green pond full of sulfur-infused stink water. The pool sits in a slight depression likely created from a massive eruption from underground. It is well out of reach of visiting curious, but can be seen clearly from above. The bright green water gets its color from deposits of sulphur that rise to the surface and float on top,…

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East Cape Lighthouse: the iconic lighthouse in easternmost point of New Zealand

If you’re visiting New Zealand, the East Cape Lighthouse should be included in your plans. It is a lighthouse perched on Otiki Hill above East Cape, the iconic easternmost point on the North Island of New Zealand, and what feels like the end of the earth. Once there, you’ll only see miles and miles of ocean. Surrounded by pristine coastline and out of this world views, It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand. The lighthouse was originally constructed on nearby East Island. However the island was difficult to…

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Larnach Castle: a haunted castle high on a hill

Larnach Castle, one of only two castles in all of New Zealand, has a rich history, spotted with family drama, death, and a variety of ghost stories and, given the facts, It’s unsurprising then that its owner’s ghost is said to be a bit tetchy. The interior is filled with vintage furniture, beautiful designs, and cat artwork. However, this architectural oddity would be difficult to stumble across, unless you knew it was there. Hidden in the South Island is the city of Dunedin. Wandering through its streets, you’ll find dozens…

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What was the first country to grant women the vote?

Saudi Arabia, in 2011, became the most recent country in 21st century to grant women’s suffrage (and also lifted the ban on women’s driving in June 2018…). But which country first gave women voting rights? In the late nineteenth century the women’s suffrage movement was widespread throughout Northern Europe, but also in America, Britain and its colonies. However, the first self-governing country to grant all women the vote was New Zealand on this day, 19th September 1893. So, how did New Zealand manage to grant all women, including indigenous Maori…

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Musk Sticks: the classic Australian candy looks like pink toothpaste and smells like old ladies at the bus stop.

While many Australians and New Zealanders love this vintage candy for nostalgic reasons, others detest its shocking perfume flavor. In fact, the so called Musk Sticks have been likened to “the smell of old ladies at the bus stop“, and they are made with real synthetic musk essence… These musk-flavoured candy are fairy-pink cylinders that resemble extruded toothpaste. They’re made mostly of musk essence, gelatin, and icing sugar, which gives them a semi-soft and powdery, fondant-like feel. Their dissolvable quality also means they can be “twisted on your tongue into…

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Mrs. Chippy Monument at Karori Cemetery | Wellington | New Zealand |

Early polar exploration was a lonely adventure, where sailors would be stuck on their ships for months, subsisting on barely edible rations among some of the world’s most inhospitable climates. However, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917 was made just a bit happy by the presence of the adorable ship’s cat, Mrs. Chippy. Mrs Chippy was taken on board the ship Endurance by carpenter Harry “Chippy” McNish. “Chippy” is a colloquial British term for a carpenter, and the cat acquired its name because, once aboard, it followed McNish…

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Mongrel Mob: the most terrible Gang of New Zealand.

In Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, was born in 1960, the first nucleus of what would become the largest gang in the country, now spread throughout the country: the Mongrel Mob. The gang, initially formed by young people of European origin, has expanded to include Maori and Polynesians, although it has the appearance of a band of Nazi bikers: their symbols are a swastika and a British Bulldog wearing a German Stahlhelm, and supposedly is an image intended to offend as it is a British Bulldog wearing the helmet. Mongrel Mob…

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