For many of us, a trip to New Zealand involves a long haul flight. So when you touch down, the thought of being free to explore the country’s expansive national reserves and parks couldn’t sound more welcoming.
On your magnificent tour of New Zealand there is so much beautiful land to discover. And with each area possessing its own unique characteristics, choosing which ones to explore can be a tough decision. To help you work out which you’d like to visit most, here are a selection of New Zealand’s national reserves and parks we’d highly recommend.
Westland National Park
This New Zealand National Park is renowned for its grand glacier landscapes. With mountain peaks towering over a vast and majestic rainforest that reaches the edge of the Tasman Sea, it is a pristine piece of land worthy of your exploration. A significant highlight for many of the park’s visitors is the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers which move a few metres every day. Find more information here.
Waitangi National Reserve
The Waitangi National Reserve in New Zealand is small in size, but rich in history. This site is where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in 1840, declaring British sovereignty over New Zealand. So why not pay a visit to the spot where such a momentous moment in both Britain’s and New Zealand’s history took place?
Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve
When it comes to New Zealand’s National reserves, the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve has it all. It is an amazing place to learn about the Maori people who reside there in the local village. Furthermore, the geothermal sights, erupting geyser, boiling mud pools, silica falls and hot rocks, all make for a unique and remarkable experience.
Fiordland National Park
This National Park in New Zealand is not only the largest in the country, but also one of the largest in the world. Covering 12,500 km2, the land is a natural wonder bursting with extraordinary landscapes and some of the finest wildlife in New Zealand. The park is home to some world-famous sights including Milford Sound which can be experienced on the daily cruises or scenic flights. Here you’ll also find the Doubtful Sound, which is the deepest fiord in New Zealand, at an impressive 421 metres. Find out more about the park here.
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman is a coastal haven where you can unwind, relax or have an adventure exploring. For the active types, you can kayak, snorkel, swim or hike to discover this park’s natural wonders. Or if you’re in need of a relaxing break and a spot of sunbathing even, the beaches are the perfect place to rejuvenate before your next New Zealand excursion.
Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve
As you’d expect from its name, Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve is home to some of the most impressive natural forestry. Within this sub-tropical rainforest, walkways are decorated with native flora and fauna, giant ferns and kauri, and nocturnal kiwi. Also just a 20-minute walk from the main path is the famous ‘Lord of the Forest’ kauri tree, Tane Mahuta, which has a trunk over five metres in diameter, making it the widest of any surviving kauri tree.
In New Zealand there are so many stunning parks and reserves brimming with remarkable flora and fauna. The striking scenery and landscapes will make each moment of your trip truly worth remembering, so be sure to keep a camera handy.