New Zealand Voted World’s Favourite Country
Maybe next year, Australia.
The jury is finally out, and we can’t say we’re surprised. A little disappointed in ourselves maybe, but not surprised. And unlike Kimbra and Russell Crowe we can’t claim this one as our own.
The land of the long white cloud, our easterly neighbour New Zealand, was today announced as Favourite Country in the world’s largest reader-polled travel awards. The UK’s Telegraph Travel Awards are highly trusted in the travel industry due to the sheer number of readers who vote in them – 90,000 participants makes this the widest-ranging travel survey of its kind.
Even New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key was pretty stoked. “Too often a lot of people go to a destination where ultimately it is never as good as the brochure,” he told the UK Tele, “whereas in New Zealand we think people come and get an experience that is better than the brochure.”
We’re inclined to agree.
Here are five other amazing things about the land of hobbits and the Haka to really seal the deal.
#1 Human (un)nature
New Zealand has one of the highest animal to human ratios in the world. Only five percent of the population is human, meaning the other 95 percent of living things are all animals so it’s really an ideal spot to escape crowds (of people, at least).
#2 It’s snake free
There are no snakes there. Neither native or introduced. They just never happened.
#3 Miles of the Milford
The dramatic landscape of the Milford Sound was judged the world’s top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travellers’ Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) because it looks like this. It’s one of the most ridiculously beautiful places on the planet and a certified feast for your eyes.
#4 Parks and recreation
About one third of the sparsely populated country is national park, meaning there’s amazing hiking and ecotourism opportunities providing unique access to pristine forests.
This is the name of a place. It is the longest place name found in any English-speaking country. It’s is known colloquially as Taumata and it means, “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.”
(Lead image: Geee Kay/Flickr)