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New Zealand
National Parks

New Zealand has 14 Nationals Parks, and it is very difficult to say which is the best park or the more spectacular. Each one has a different and special beauty and landscape, pristine nature with forests, giant trees with thousands of years old, glaciers, fiords and crystal waters crossing the mountains. It's a full pleasure tracking in the forest and around the parks, as NZ is an environment free of snakes and without any other poison animal. But please do not forget to take your camera and your sweater. Below more information about each park and links to the official site of NZ Department of Conservation.

Abel Tasman National Park - Located at the top of the South Island close to Nelson city. This park offers beaches, and beautiful granite erosion forming a sharp slope. There is a world famous trekking going just along the coast with fantastic views. Motueka, Kaiteriteri and Takaka are the closest small villages, with regular public transport between them. [More information]

Arthur's Pass National Park - Between Christchurch and Greymouth, in the Alps with access by train or cars from the mentioned cities. The park attracts many alpinist to challenge the Mt. Rolleston (2225m) as well as people trekking in the well marked paths. The small village of  Arthur's Pass is the commercial centre of the area, offering a variety shops and accommodation. More information]

Egmont National Park - The Vulcan Taranaki is the  main attraction of the park, and it is possible to climb to the top (but be aware of the snow storms and strong winds in the winter). For the less adventurous people, there are spectacular waterfalls during the summer formed by the thawing ice. New Plymouth is the closest city and accommodation can be found in the city and around the 3 entries of the park. [More information]

Fiordland National Park - Besides the famous tourist destination of Milford Sounds, the park has many hiking paths that are considered one of the most beautiful in the world. [More information]

Kahurangi National Park - Close to Abel Tasman National Park in the top of South Island. There are over  570 Km of trekking paths besides  giant caves, considered on of the biggest in the world. Many opportunities for kayaking, rafting and trout fishing. [More information]

Mount Aspiring National Park - Located between Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau, just beside Fiordland National Park. Its the biggest park in NZ with more than 350 thousand hectares. There are many entries through the small villages surrounding the park. Many opportunities to trekking and climbing, as Mt Aspiring is the second highest Mount in NZ with over 3000 m. At the ground, the beautiful Dart River offers lots of fun with jet boat and exploration of the river. [More information]

Mount Cook National Park - Park around the highest mountain of New Zealand and with 19 peaks with more than 3000 m. This park attracts climbers form all over the world. The city of Aoraki Mt Cook Village, is the base for all exploring the area and it's located in the heart of the Alps of the South Island. .[More information]

Nelson Lakes National Park - At the North part of the South Island, 1.30 hour by car to nelson city.  The entry is from the St Arnaud city. The beautiful lakes are the main attraction with excellent hiking paths and a breathtaking landscape. [More information]

Paparoa National Park - This park is located at the South Island Norwest side. between Westport and Greymouth. Fox River Tourist Cave is a open to the public and to explore it takes almost 2 hours. The cost line shows dramatic sculptures done by the nature in the cliffs .[More information]

Rakiura National Park - This park includes 85% of Stuart Island at the south of South Island. The Island can be reached by plain in a 20 min flight from Invercargill. The biggest attractions are the Auroras Australis, with fantastic colours in the sky during the sunset.[More information]

Te Urewera National Park - in the middle of Whakatane, Gisborne and Rotorua cities. Over there can be found the largest remanence of the native forest in the North Island. The park is also famous for the beautifull lakes. [More information]

Tongariro National Park - This is the park if the active vulcanos and ski filds in the centre of the North island. Full of nteresting places to explore. The walk crossing is a fantastic treck but may take over 8 hours and should only be done by fitted people (more info about the crossing the arrow will lead to different passages) [More information]

Westland Tai Poutini National Park - Park between the Alps and the sea at the west coast of the South Island where the  Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers are located .As the other parks the landscape is breathtaking. [More information]

Whanganui National Park - The closest cities around the park are Taumarunui and Wanganui located at the South of the North Island. The Whanganui river offers many activities as kayaking, rafting and trackings. The Maori culture is very strong in this region, an extra attraction to tourists. [More information]

Information and map courtesy of http://www.doc.govt.nz

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