New Zealand Parks Guide; Check out the best National Parks
New Zealand’s national parks offer more than 30,000 sqm of varied natural landscapes, ready to be explored on foot, by boat, by car or by plane.
Spending time in New Zealand’s national parks and you’ll begin to understand the soul of it.
National parks are cherished and preserve their natural heritage, forests, wildlife and landscapes nearby, if not exactly as before the arrival of the population.
Tongariro National Park
This is one of the most visited and the best national parks in New Zealand and with good reason. It was the first national park to be constructed in New Zealand and the fourth in the world and is an area with two world heritage sites due to the important Maori cultural associations and amazing volcanic features. The park is a beautiful place to visit and you can spend hours while you are amazed by the landscape alone.
Fiordland National Park
Fiordland National Park is an area of rugged New Zealand wilderness and much of it is not accessible by road. It is the heart of the World Heritage Site of Southwest New Zealand, also known as Te Wahipounamu. It is one of the most amazing places to visit in New Zealand in my humble opinion and is that way because of the great features.
You can see deep fjords (one of the most famous is Milford Sound), beautiful lakes, snow-covered mountains and unbroken forests. One of the nicest things to do around Fiordland National Park is horse riding, fishing and enjoying an eco-tour or some relaxation.
Westland Tai Poutini National Park
Westland Tai Poutini National Park is found on the South Island, and it stretches from the highest peaks of the Southern Alps to the wild and secluded beaches of the west coast.
Westland is split by the Alpine Fault, and this creates a pretty dramatic landscape and features in the Westland National Park. Here you will find mountains that rise steeply with forested slopes until you reach the tree line and hit the permanent snowfields that feed the many glaciers, none better known than Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.
Arthur’s Pass National Park
This is a magical part of New Zealand dominated by high mountains, large scree slopes, steep gorges and wide rivers, the Arthur’s Pass National Park is situated between Canterbury and the West Coast right smack in the Southern Alps, full of amazing scenery and differing plantlife depending on what side of the pass you are on. It is also the trail of a historical highway and unique railway.
Egmont National Park
This park is a beautiful part of New Zealand dominated by the majestic peak of Mount Taranaki (aka Mount Egmont). Mount Taranaki (pictured on the right behind the Heliview Taranaki helicopter) is a volcanic peak, now considered dormant and beside it sits two extinct volcanic peaks – Kaitake and Pouakai. The mountain is surrounded by lush and dense rainforest and well settled and established agricultural landscape.
Kahurangi National Park
Kahurangi National Park is the largest and newest national park in New Zealand. This Park offers numerous natural and recreational opportunities. It is found in the northwestern corner of the South Island and parts of it are unspoilt wilderness paradise.
Different types of rocks can be found here, ranging from sedimentary to limestone to marble. The latter of these provide some pretty amazing caves, zinc holes and natural arches. The vegetation here varies from one side to the other and some endangered animals in New Zealand can also be found here.
Abel Tasman National Park
This is possibly the most famous of New Zealand’s national parks, and with good reason. It has earned its reputation thanks to the golden sandy beaches, the many rocks and the unchanged estuaries.
Abel Tasman has a mild climate, making it a popular place to visit all year round, and with lots of sunshine in the summer, the beaches are very popular. The landscape sometimes seems scarce due to the tendency of early settlers to fire the hills to create grassland, but thanks to the time it has been given, the forests are regenerating.