The national parks are spread over more than 30,000 square kilometres across the North and the South Islands of New Zealand and attract backpackers from across the globe. You can explore these conservation spots of natural exquisiteness kayaking, canoeing, hiking and walking through.
Here Are the 11 National Parks in New Zealand You Should Explore
1. Egmont National Park
Egmont National Park is located in the North Island and it houses a dormant volcano Mount Taranaki. You can discover the park’s lush forests, rivers, waterfalls, pools, swamps and lava gorges by walking and hiking around the place. From short 15-minute walks on the Kamahi Track to three-day trips on the Pouakai Circuit, there are several short walking trails and other mountaineering activities that you can enjoy in the park. The Camphouse and Dawson Falls Power Station are the must-see heritage sites in this national park in New Zealand. Experienced mountaineers can try their hands on a challenging climb to the summit of Mount Taranaki.
2. Whanganui National Park
Whanganui National Park is stretched along the Whanganui River and is among the least accessible national parks in New Zealand. The wilderness of the native forests, river gorges, waterfalls, mountains, and valleys attract adventurous souls on multi-day excursions to the park. You can choose the level of adventure that excites you from several water sports and mountaineering activities. There are several camping sites, hiking trails and biking routes across the park. Depending upon your interest you can canoe along the river while enjoying the stunning scenery or take a jet boat ride to Mangapurua Landing and walk to The Bridge to Nowhere. You can also camp at Tieke Marae and experience the local Maori culture up close or hike across Mangapurua.
3. Abel Tasman National Park
Located on the north end of New Zealand’s South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is a coastal paradise. It is among the most easily accessible national parks in New Zealand with several tour operators providing services for a horde of recreational activities in the area. You can explore the natural beauty of its pristine beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and lush native forests by kayaks, helicopters, and catamarans. There are luxurious arrangements for stay and sightseeing inside the national park.
4. Kahurangi National Park
Located in the South Island, Kahurangi National Park is the second-largest national park in New Zealand. This park is the conservation site for rare species of native plants, birds and even some of the region’s oldest rocks. Mount Owen and Mount Arthur are the marble mountains housing extensive cave systems accompanied by the Oparara Basin that is full of limestone caves. Nature lovers can discover mysterious streams, wild rivers, high plateaus, ancient rocks, rare birds and alpine herb fields. The enthralling landforms and tropical palm forests can be explored using the network of walking tracks in the area. The Heaphy Track is the most popular walking trail however fascinated geologists, fossil hunters and cave explorers take the untracked routes too.
5. Nelson Lakes National Park
The best place for a dreamy getaway, Nelson Lakes National Park is located in the South Island and is among the most picturesque national parks in New Zealand. The idyllic setting of this park makes it the ideal place for unwinding amidst the wilderness. The park houses two gorgeous clearwater alpine lakes Rotoroa and Rotoiti. The lakes are surrounded by the breathtakingly beautiful Saint Arnaud and Mount Robert mountain ranges. The popular activities you can enjoy in this area are hiking up to viewpoints that offer stunning panoramic views of the valleys, camping in the wild and fishing in the pristine lakes.
6. Paparoa National Park
Located along the west coast of South Island of New Zealand is Paparoa National Park. This park encompasses the luxuriant diverse landforms of the region. The stunning geological formations of limestone make it one of the most attractive national parks in New Zealand. You can witness mesmerizing canyons, caves, ridges, blowholes, and New Zealand’s unique ‘pancake’ coastal rock formations in this park. You can also rent a kayak and paddle up the Pororari River. Horse trekking through the rainforest in Punakaiki Valley is also available up to Punakaiki Beach. You can also stroll through stalactite formations in limestone caves and watch glow worms or try rock climbing at the Bullock Creek.