NZ Geography Bingo for International Students – Part 1

Thursday, June 4, 2020

One interesting thing about every one of the first ten of the twenty major New Zealand towns/cities with over 35,000 people.


1. Auckland (1.5 million) - You can walk from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea in four hoursAuckland’s coast to coast walk is 16km and stretches from the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean to the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea.


2. Christchurch (375,000) – This is the oldest city in New Zealand
It was established as a city on July 31st, 1856. Its estimated that Moa Hunters arrived in the area as early as AD 1000, which indicate the habitable nature of the area.


3. Wellington (215,000) – Wellington declared itself a nuclear-free zone in 1982This was five years before the rest of the country did the same in 1987.


4. Hamilton (170,000) – Kirikirioa is the Māori name for Hamilton and means ‘long stretch of gravel’
An interesting name for a city that has 16km of the Waikato river flowing through it!


5. Tauranga (135,000) – The city saw a rapid rise of population growth from 2001-2013, which saw it rise to NZ’s 5th largest city

With a large port, favourable weather and a big business centre, it was also one of the earliest settled parts of NZ, with Māori arriving in the Takitimu and the Mataatua waka in the 13th century, before English settlers arrived in 1826 onboard the Herald.


6. Lower Hutt (105,000) – The Hutt river was named after English MP, Sir William Hutt, who never visited NZ but was a founder of the New Zealand Company

William Wakefield, an early English settler renamed the river in 1839. The Māori name for the river is Te Awakairangi ('the river where food falls from the sky’).


7. Dunedin (105,000) – The University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest University and was founded in 1869

In 1874 the first degree from the University was awarded, a Bachelor of Arts to student Alexander Williamson. The Medical school opened a year later in 1875 and in 1885 the first female graduate was Caroline Freeman; she also received a Bachelor of Arts.


8. Palmerston North (80,000) – In the centre of the city, there is an area known as ‘The Square’, that has been around since 1866

It is a seven-hectare park of lawn, trees, lakes, fountains, and gardens in the centre of the city. Its name in Māori is Te marae o Hine, meaning ‘The Courtyard of the Daughter of Peace’.


9. Napier (60,000) – After a 7.9 earthquake in February 1931 that destroyed many buildings, the city was rebuilt in the ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Spanish Mission’ architectural style

This has meant that Napier has become known as ‘the Art Deco’ capital of the world. It has over 140 Art Deco buildings.


10. Porirua (55,000) – The popular Porirua walk Rangituhi/Colonial Knob is one of several remnants of a peneplain

It was formed from an eroded landmass that existed 30 million to 40 million years ago, before it was raised by earthquakes and erosion began to form hills.


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