Abel Tasman NP

Another centre of the universe

Abel Tasman National Park is located in Golden Bay and the Nelson area at the top of the South Island and at 22,530 hectares, is New Zealand’s smallest National Park. It is also the most changed national park in New Zealand, having been settled by Europeans and copping the destruction that is traditionally left in their wake. Despite the changes to the environment, this park is a fantastic and beautiful area of this country. Just half an hour from Motueka, with the towns Collingwood, Takaka and Kaiteriteri close by, the park is easily accessible with all the facilities you may need to have great adventures.

Things to do

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Westland NP

Tai Poutini – World Heritage Area

Okarito Lagoon

This magnificent park extends from the Southern Alps to the wilderness of the West Coast of the South Island and covers 127,541 hectares. It was created in 1960, and protects high mountains and glaciers. It was extended in 1982 to encompass the lowlands and coastal areas of South Okarito and South Waikukupa. With over 60 glaciers, the two most famous are the only glaciers in the world to flow down to a rainforest.

As a World Heritage site, the area has huge mountains, glaciers, forests, tussock grasslands, lakes, rivers, wetlands and coasts; and they are all very beautiful. Halfway down the South Island, off State Highway 6 (between Hokitika and Haast)

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National Parks in Brief

The National Parks Act 1980 provides for the establishment of national parks or reserves in areas where the scenery is of such distinctive quality, or the natural features or ecological systems so important scientifically that their preservation is in the national interest. The act also provides for the public to have freedom of entry and access to the parks, though this is subject to such conditions and restrictions as are necessary for the preservation of native plants and animals or for the welfare of the parks in general. Access to specially protected areas (55,000 ha) constituted under the act is by permit only.

The act states that national parks are to be maintained as far as possible in their natural

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The Kauaeranga Valley is a place of great beauty and natural wonder. It is situated behind the town of Thames, and has lots of things to do for the nature lover. Kauaeranga was once the name for the whole Thames region.

The Kauaeranga River used to be called Waiwhakauaeranga which in Maori means ‘Waters of the Stacked Up Jaw Bones’. Ngati Maru historians say the name came about after a battle, where the Ngati Maru stacked the jawbones of their enemies in rows along the riverbanks after killing them.

The Kauaeranga forest was once used for kauri logging, and many of the biggest and oldest Kauri trees which ever lived came from here. They used to use the river for

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Lewis Pass

In the Southern Alps

The Lewis Pass National Reserve is situated where hwy7 crosses the Southern Alps. There are many walking trails and hunting opportunities. The main walkway is the St James Walkway which takes 4 – 5 days and is best done in summer and autumn due to the avalanche danger in winter.

For the casual visitor there are many picnic areas and short walks available on both sides of Lewis Pass, and even some natural hot thermal pools (at Sylvia Flats near the Boyle Village).

The St James Walkway meanders through pastoral and forested country with combines diverse scenery, wildlife and vegetation and is suitable for both beginners and experienced trampers, while for family groups, the descent into

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National Parks

Recreational paradise under pressure

Fiordland National Park

New Zealand’s National Parks, scenic reserves and wilderness areas have something for all from scenic drives, picnicking, treks, swimming, kayaking, mountaineering, rock or ice climbing, skiing, scenic flights, glacier landings, caving, orienteering and many other activities.

These are the last places that you may find some ‘New Zealand native fresh water species’ as the ‘Diagnosis and Cure’ report on managing New Zealand freshwater biodiversity and supporting ecosystems, titled The plight of New Zealand’s freshwater biodiversity?, says 74 per cent of our native freshwater fish, mussel and crayfish species are now listed as threatened with extinction.

Unless you are going with a guide or just picnicking along the road

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Christchurch - Arthurs Pass

145 Km. Allow two hours without stops

Fun in the snow on Porters Pass

This route is sometimes closed by snow in winter, so if you’re travelling then, you’re advised to carry chains.

From central Christchurch, the good and near straight two lane highway (SH 73) begins at Yaldhurst and passes through the rural townships of Kirwee, (pub and store), and Darfield, a growing rural town with several café’s, a small art gallery, crafts shops, hotels, motels and backpackers. Just through the town is the turn off point to Methven, Rakia Gorge (picnic, walking, jet boat recreation area) and the Mt. Hutt Ski area.

For those in a hurry, take the Old West Coast Road, which bypasses these towns.

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Arthurs Pass - Greymouth

East to West

The Kea, New Zealand’s native parrot. A highly intelligent and inquisitive bird, it will steal food, lens caps and anything it can carry. They have also been known to partly dismantle vehicles.

From Arthur’s Pass village and still within the National Park, the road climbs steeply in places. There are many short walks to view waterfalls and other natural features including:

The Mt Rolleston lookout and walk way. The Temple Basin Ski area; a good day trip or a picnic. The one hour climb will give you an appetite. An alpine boarded walkway before the descent that lets you get a breath of fresh mountain air without getting your feet muddy. Stop

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Mt Aspiring National Park

Home to some great walks

Mt Aspiring National Park borders Fiordland National Park in the Southwest New Zealand to comprise the World Heritage Area known as Te Wahipounamu. The Park covers 355,531 ha and was established 1964. Mt Aspiring (the mountain) is a complex of impressively glaciated mountain scenery centred on Mount Aspiring (3,036 m), which is New Zealand’s next highest peak to Mount Cook.

The park spans a large area, from the Haast River in the north to the Humbolt Mountains in the south. Large valleys, carved out by ancient glaciers, dissect the high mountain ranges and Mt Aspiring itself is viewable from near Wanaka and Haast.

Mt Aspiring is known by Maori as ‘Tititea’

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Te Anau

A home in paradise

Looking over Te Anau Township

Located south of Queenstown and situated on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau, (New Zealand’s second largest lake) you’ll find the town of Te Anau. The town it’self is small with a base population of about 2000 that can expand to over 6000 in peak season.

Te Anau has a good range of accommodation and restaurants as well as supermarkets and other services.

Southern adventure destination

Te Anau is the gateway to Milford and Doubtful Sounds, and the many famous walking tracks including the Kepler, Routeburn, Hollyford and the world famous Milford Track.

Te Anau makes an ideal base from which explore Te Anau