New Zealand has a natural opulence of lushness that can rarely be found elsewhere on the blue planet. The emerald greenery of New Zealand in the form of national parks covers thousands of square kilometers offering breathtaking landscapes for nature lovers. These national parks also give you an opportunity to spot rare species of animals and indulge in daredevilry through mountain biking and extreme adventure sports.
1. Egmont National Park – Trekkers flock to this park to climb Mt. Egmont, a 2518-meter high looming presence in the backdrop of the park, a volcanic peak, also known as Mt. Taranaki. The park itself is full of cascading waterfalls, dense rainforests and mystique swamps. The vegetation is a case study in itself ranging from rimu and kamahi at lower altitudes to herb fields and sub-alpine shrubs at higher altitudes. Goblin Forests with their gnarled trees offer another attraction.
There are walking tracks such as the Pouakai Circuit and the trails to Dawson Falls and Wilkies Pool. The Kamahi Walk in East Egmont through Goblin Forest and the trail over Ahukawakawa Swamp offer an interesting experience too. The eastern slopes are perfect for adventure enthusiasts who love skiing between June and October. The vegetation of this park owes itself to a mixture of sunshine and heavy rains blending into a mildly coastal climate.
2. Tongariro National Park – New Zealand’s first and the world’s 4th national park is a World Heritage Area due to its Maori associations and spectacular volcanic features of Mt. Tongariro. You can rent a car at Auckland and drive down to this national park which is accessible from State Highway 1.
The most popular attractions of this national park are the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the Tongariro Northern Circuit – two world famous exploratory walking circuits. This national park, apart from active volcanoes, also has a desert-like plateau contrasting tranquil lakes, forests and herb fields, an extreme variation rarely seen anywhere in the world.
3. Fiordland National Park – It is a new park that covers more than a million hectares and boasts of lush rainforests.
This park houses one of the world’s rarest existing species of birds, the flightless takahe and the kakapo, the only flightless parrot species in the world. Both are now part of a conservation program. The park has a diverse range of flora and fauna, with many unique species that have evolved differently because of the isolation, a great case study.
4. Parks of South Island – Cheap car rental services are available for those who want to drive down to South Island’s two famous parks. These are Abel Tasman that comprises of an exhilarating walking trail along golden sands and beautifully sculpted cliffs of granite and Kahurangi, along the West Coast, boasting of the famous Heaphy Track.
No other country in the world perhaps can compete with the denseness, richness and diversity of flora and fauna that New Zealand owns. More importantly, the country has been protective enough of this environmental opulence, not disturbing the fine ecological balance comprising of several majestic landscapes.