Snakes Are Illegal In New Zealand

“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” —Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

In A Nutshell

Snakes are a pretty common animal in virtually every part of the world. They’re creepy and they can be dangerous, but they aren’t particularly out of the ordinary. That is, of course, everywhere except New Zealand. In the land of hobbits, believe it or not, snakes simply do not exist. In fact, even owning a snake in New Zealand can open a person up to prosecution.

The Whole Bushel

If you are anything like us, or God willing, Indiana Jones, you hate snakes. They are gross, creepy, vile creatures according to pretty much everyone other than the late Steve Irwin. What you probably did not realize is that if you ever want to avoid running into a snake, just about the only place in the world you can go is beautiful New Zealand.

That’s because in New Zealand, snakes are actually considered a prohibited organism (it’s illegal for them to just exist). That means not only will you never find one out in the wild (if you do, it will be dealt with mercilessly), but it’s illegal to own one as a pet. Snakes are not even allowed in New Zealand zoos, research facilities, or anywhere else. We aren’t talking about a little slap on the wrist for owning a snake, either. Just ask Nathan Bush.

In 2011, Bush bought a pet snake and when it was discovered, he was taken to court and sentenced to four months in prison. That’s how seriously New Zealand takes its anti-snake stance. In fact, if a resident of New Zealand even becomes aware of the existence of a snake, he or she is required by law to report the animal to authorities to be dealt with in order to keep the nation completely snake-free.

Well, at least the actual, physical landmass of New Zealand is free of snakes. Obviously, it’s a little more difficult to regulate serpents of the ocean, but land snakes are kept out of the country largely because none are native to the islands that make it up.

New Zealand is known for a great many things, including being the land of hobbits, but it turns out that if tourists decide to take a vacation there, they really are more likely to come across Gollum hissing than an actual snake, which is pretty remarkable considering the country’s neighbor to the south, Australia, is infamous for being home to some of the most dangerous snakes the world has ever seen.

New Zealand is one of the very few snake-free zones in the entire world, joining the elite company of Greenland, Antarctica, and parts of Hawaii. You know, just in case you were trying to plan your next vacation and wanted to avoid being sufficiently creeped out by the wildlife.

Show Me The Proof

New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries: Snakes don’t belong in New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand: No Snakes Here, Mate! Just Crazy Keas and Bubbling Mud
Discovery: Snakes in New Zealand

  • crimsonhead

    Uh. Australia is not to the south of NZ.
    Interesting article though, I had no idea that there are no snakes in New Zealand.

    • Tyla McCullough

      lol wtf i live in New Zealand and thats just plain hilarious. IN YOUR FACE ASUTRALIA

      • JPeanutS

        I’ve heard of Australia, but where the fuck is ASUTRALIA?

        • ASUTRALIA is just to the south of Australia.

        • Tyla McCullough

          Fuck ill give you that one i couldnt see my keyboard hahaha

    • keyserSOZE

      Yeah, that was a massive brain fart. That, and I wrote this while having a couple beers. Let’s blame that rather than my mind just spontaneously ceasing to work properly.

  • OnlineGamer

    Screw this place, I’m moving to New Zealand!

  • Brp Goyo

    I suppose politicians abroad are not allowed to visit then?

  • Qu33f

    You’re forgetting Ireland.

    • inconspicuous detective

      i’m not sure about that. since you can own snakes there i don’t think it qualifies. then again you can own them anywhere else so i don’t think you’re wrong either.

      • Logan Rieck

        I’m not sure you got the joke.

        • inconspicuous detective

          i guess not, though you’re free to fill me in here (if it has anything to do with st. patrick and snakes, please don’t bother).

      • D Mac C

        but there are no wild snakes in ireland

    • D Mac C

      yeah aren’t they racist

  • inconspicuous detective

    this is why i really like austrailia and new zealand. they take a dead serious approach to the enviornment, protecting the ecosystem and enjoying nature. i wish the rest of the world would follow their example.

    • Phil_42

      We do , but I think it has alot to do with the fact that we are island nations and can more easily protect our boarders than those who share a border with neighbouring countries.

      • inconspicuous detective

        well island or not there’s clear respect for the enviornment there and a better understanding of nature than many other developed nations. i appreciate that attention you guys give to it because i myself really enjoy it and know what it’s like to have profits put ahead of nature on a national scale, living in a country that does so.

        • crimsonhead

          Pshh. Tasmania (home) is crazy about not letting anything in to the state, if it may harm the local flora/fauna. Especially fruit. You probably won’t get questioned about weapons on the way in, but they sure as hell want to know if you’re carrying a concealed apple. (Actually, I’m exaggerating. Everyone knows about our ban on guns. So don’t bother trying to bring a spud gun in.)

          • Phil_42

            Ban on guns? I better stop going to duck open in tassie then.

  • Chester

    Be funny to just airdrop a crate of boa constricters and let them go buck.

  • Errkism

    Interesting. I would have thought the exact opposite.

  • Skippy

    If we could stop referring to NZ as the land of hobbits that would be great thanks?

  • Timothy Greer

    New information actually shows that there are snakes inhabiting the areas around some of the old abandoned gold mines on the west coast of the South island and may have been living for a long time. I believe they are Australian Copperheads

  • Fascinating!