New Zealand National Parks

New Zealand’s National Parks are treasured with country’s most unique and diverse landscapes.

New Zealand’s 14 National Parks cherish stunning landscapes and natural vistas- from forests to wildlife and glaciers to beaches, everything inspires, excites and captivates visitors.Though every park offers something different, but alike, they represent the best of New Zealand’s natural beauty.

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is located in the northern region of New Zealand’s South Island and holds the title of the country’s smallest national park. Nonetheless, it has been perfectly crafted in order to provide visitors utmost relaxation and an adventurous experience. Having said that, it features beautiful golden sand beaches, massive sculptured granite cliffs, and a coast track.
In order to cover this small yet vast coastal paradise, you can either walk from Marahau from the Southern end of the park or else explore it by the means of a cruise boat, sailing catamaran, sea kayaking, or water taxi. Likewise, cruising, canyoning, hiking and guided tours are also available. Furthermore, guided tours offered are of two types- 5 days or either 3 days; choose accordingly and have a closer look into the Abel Tasman National park.

Key Highlights

  • The only coastal national park in New Zealand to feature beautiful golden beaches.
  • Native wildlife plays a significant role in forming its picturesque landscapes.
  • No roads; Cover it either on foot or follow the available water routes.
  • Te Puketea Bay leads to the historical Maori pa site; offering panoramic views of the site.

Abel Tasman National Park
Arthurs Pass National Park

Arthur’s Pass National Park

Arthur’s Pass National Park is the highest pass in the Southern Alps and is comprised of a galore of peaks with estimated heights of over 2,000 meters. The large steep mountain ranges act as the backbone to the South island and are suitable for both long and short hiking trails.

Arthur’s pass village is a tiny village situated in the midst of the massive alpine ranges of the park. The village serves as a popular spot for world-famous TranzAlpine train and encloses a number of motels, hotels, cabins, cafeterias etcetera.
Visitors can either visit the Arthur’s Pass National Park via road or TransAlpine Train from Christchurch; nonetheless, both of them offer awe-inspiring views of natural landscapes. c

Key Highlights

  • Encloses several peaks, each with an average height of 2000 meters.
  • The main valleys are deep enough and feature steep sides.
  • An area of park features alpine fields with an abundance of wildflowers.
  • The Arthur’s village serves as a good base for short walks to nearby locations.

Egmont National Park

Egmont National Park is situated on the south of new Plymouth, close enough to the West Coast of the North island, New Zealand. Circumcised by the dormant volcano-Mount Taranaki, the Egmont National Park offers its visitors beautiful landscapes, tranquil waterfalls, lush green rainforests and mossy swamps.

Though the Egmont National Park is dominated by the Mount Taranaki, it still offers visitors an ample number of recreation activities. From massive alpine peaks for climbers to wetlands for explorers and beautiful waterfalls for nature-lovers; Egmont has something for everyone.

Similarly, the park is woven by a plenty of walking tracks. That said, visitors here can have anything from a casual stroll of 15 minutes to a three days long walking trail on the Poukati Circuit.

Key Highlights

  • Mt. Taranaki-snow-capped dormant volcano fascinates every visitor.
  • A summit is possible all year-round, provided you appoint a guide.
  • Botany lovers can observe plant progression from surf to summit.
  • An exhaustive network of walking tracks offers access to the park’s most beautiful areas.

Egmont National Park
Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National park, situated at the southwest corner of the South Island, is one of the most rousing and alluring parts of the New Zealand. Being the largest national park in the entire New Zealand, it is sprawled over a land area of more than 12,500 Km2; Incidentally, Fiordland National Park along with the neighboring Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring, collectively form Te Wahipounamu-”the place of greenstone”.
This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site encapsulates an endless number of ancient rainforests, clinging just next to the massive mountain ranges. The eternal landscape beauty is further enhanced by plummeting waterfalls into the awe-inspiring fjords, dazzling granite peaks, and tranquil lakes.

Key Highlights

  • There a total of fourteen fiords, fringing the southwest corner of the South Island.
  • Each and every ford is at least 100,000 years old.
  • A major area of the park is covered by virgin beech and pop carp forest.
  • the 500Km walking track lead visitors to the primeval world of natural lush landscapes.

Kahurangi National Park

Kahurangi National Park is the New Zealand’s second largest national park and encapsulates an alluring world of marble mountains along with an extensive collection of calm, peaceful and magnificent beaches, encircled by huge palm trees.

Being situated in the northwest region of the New Zealand’s South Island, it gives you access to the regions untracked wilderness; nonetheless, the laid-down tracks will lead you to awe-inspiring rivers, high plateaus, beautiful alpine herb fields and lush green coastal forests.

“The Heaphy Track” is the most renowned track at the Kahurangi National Park. It brings forth visitors some of the best places in the park such as the 78km of subtropical rainforest, the tussock high country, the river valley, and coast.

Key Highlights

  • It serves as a home to 18 distinctive species of native New Zealand birds.
  • Having a great habitat, It houses a wide species of endangered animals.
  • It is the perfect research grown for people fascinated by geology.
  • New Zealand’s oldest fossil-540 million years old was discovered here.

Kahurangi National Park
Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park is a hikers paradise and is situated in the Southern Alps of the South Islands, New Zealand. Besides the splendid landscapes of the park, Mt Aspiring is itself a dazzling 3,027m high peak, that attract visitors from all paths of the world. Altogether, the Mount Aspiring National Park is indeed, a dreamland of massive alps, alpine lakes, river valleys and breathtaking glaciers.

Being a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, exploring the park will be definitely a once-a-lifetime experience. Be you an ordinary traveler or a mountaineer, or a tramper, the beautiful landforms will surely take your breath away.

Climbing, tramping, skiing, a chopper ride or a long walk, everything’s possible here. Likewise, a large sum of short walking trails is also available near the accessible roads of the park’s ending.

Key Highlights

  • A total of 59 distinctive bird species has been recorded at Mt Aspiring national Park.
  • As per researchers, all the major landforms here are a result of intense glaciation.
  • It forms a major part of Te Wahipounamu- Southwest New Zealand’s World Heritage Area.
  • Mt. Aspiring National Park serves shelter to more than 400 species of moths and butterflies.

Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes National Park is a captivating alpine landscape, situated towards the north of the South Island, New Zealand. Stretched over a land area of 1,02,000 hectares in the Southern Alps, it features an extensive range of short and long walking trails and is home to an array of native New Zealand’s birds.
This dense national park, separated by beautiful forested valleys, marks the beginning of the Southern Alps. From walking tracks set aside the lake to challenging alpine hikes, Nelson Lakes National Park has something to offer to its every visitor.
Talking about the lakes, Lake Rotoroa and Rotoiti are the premier attraction of the park. These lakes are encircled by multiple steep mountains, with native honeydew beech forests fringed to the shores.

Key Highlights

  • The awe-inspiring landscape has been formed during the most recent ice age.
  • Lake Rotoiti and Rotoroa are the main attraction of the park.
  • The honeydew found in the park is created by the scale insects.
  • St. Arnaud village serves as the primary gateway to the Nelson lakes National Park.

Nelson Lakes National Park
Paparoa National park

Paparoa National Park

Paparoa National Park is located towards the northern end of the South Island and is composed of lush green forests,delicate cave formations, and dazzling limestone canyons. It stretches all the way from the inland coastline to the massive ice-carved Paparoa Ranges, encompassing a land area of 306 Km2.

The park boundaries are very carefully established, in order to encapsulate all the major landscapes and ecosystems of the area. Similarly, a major part of the Paparoa National Park is forested with an assorted range of vegetation. It also offers shelter to an abundance of birdlife; that said, it is the only national park in new Zealand to feature the aboriginal Westland Black Petrel and the Great Spotted Kiwi.

Magnificent coastline, underground hot water streams, beautiful limestone cliffs, and lush coastal forests- there’s much more adding to the beauty of the Paparoa National Park.

Key Highlights

  • Native birdlife is prolific in the Paparoa National park.
  • The outlandish “pancake-stack” are the main attraction of the Paparoa National Park
  • Paparoa National Park protects the limestone karst area.
  • It was established in the year of 1987 and covers a land area of 306 km2.

Rakiura National Park

Rakiura National Park is located on the Stewart Island and was established in 2002-making it the newest national park in the entire New Zealand. Encapsulating a large number of ancient coastal forests and sequestered beaches, it makes 85% of the South Island. Furthermore, the Stewart Island has a prolific birdlife, thus, you’re most likely to have encounters with some of the New Zealand’s rarest birds.

New Zealand is renowned worldwide for its walking tracks; the Rakiura Track, one of the country’s premier walks, is a part of Rakiura National Park. Furthermore, the park acts as a backdoor to beautiful unmodified landscapes, ecosystems, and habitats. That said, it offers visitors an excellent opportunity to experience New Zealand’s native wildlife and primeval landscapes.

Key Highlights

  • In Maori, the name “Rakiura” means “the Land of Glowing Skies”.
  • Having an abundance of birdlife, you’ll experience melodious chorus now and then.
  • The coastal boundaries of the park are home to several seabirds such as penguins, fernbirds, weka etc.
  • Being such a massive protective area, it covers 85% of the south island.

Rakiura National Park
Te Urewera National Park

Te Urewera National Park

Te Urewera National Park is the largest national park in the North Island of New Zealand and is well-known for encapsulating an array of eco-friendly wilderness, stunning lakes and some of the New Zealand’s magnificent aboriginal rainforests.

Travelers often make their visit to the Te Urewera National Park in order to explore the marvelous Lake Waikaremoana; carved by a colossal landslide 2200 years ago, it is the focus for an ample number of activities prevalent in the park. The Lake Waikaremoana track one of the New Zealand’s “Great Walks”, is set towards the left side of the lake.

While venturing through the remote areas of the park, you’ll also come in contact with Tuhoe-the children of the mist. These people treat their guests with great hospitality and depict how the Maori culture and language is blooming today in the Te Urewera.

Key Highlights

  • Te Urewera National Park encompasses a never-ending world of beautiful lakes, forests, and mountains.
  • Tuhoe people, residents of the park are better known as the “Children of the Mist”.
  • It protects the largest areas of the native rainforests of the North Island.
  • It was established as a national park in 1954 and disestablished as such in 2014.

Tongariro National Park

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is comprised of a total of 23 peaks, over 3,000 meters above the sea level and is located in close proximity to the town of Twizel, in the South Island of New Zealand. Mount Cook-New Zealand’s largest peak is situated amidst the alpine ranges of this park.
Though alpine in its purest sense, the park is quite easily accessible. The State Highway 80 near Twizel, is the only path that leads to the Mount Cook village. The village is situated within the park and features a couple of good accommodation options, restaurants and cafeterias. A very distinctive feature of the Mount Cook National Park are its peculiar milky lakes; These lakes appear to be opaque due to the high presence of suspended glacier-ground rock sediments.

Key Highlights

  • Despite having 23 massive peaks, it is easily accessible.
  • Encloses New Zealand’s largest peak-Mount Cook.
  • Hiking offer encounters with the cheeky kea-the beautiful mountain parrot.
  • Features spectacular views of glaciers and herb fields.

New Zealand Attraction
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park is located in the center of the North Island and is spread across an extensive land area of 80,000 hectares. It has been awarded the Dual World Heritage Site status and encapsulates a number of emerald lakes, alpine meadows and New Zealand’s three active volcanoes-Tongariro, Ngauruhow and Ruapehu. Adding to the dazzling diversity of these volcanoes are the steaming craters, old lava flows and thermal lakes.

The park is also widely renowned for the “Tongariro Alpine Crossing”-the best day-trek available in New Zealand. It also houses a number of Maori religious sites, whereas several towns like Ohakune, Waiouru, Erua, national Park Village etc. are situated on its outskirts.

Key Highlights

  • The volcanoes situated here are active, with eruption as recently as August 2012.
  • The mountain ranges within the park have deep spiritual importance for Maori people.
  • Short and long-tailed bats-New Zealand’s only native mammal can be traced here.
  • The park’s landscape provide a perfect habitat for a wide range of native birds.

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Westland Tai Poutini National Park, also known as “Glacier Country” extends from the highest peak of the Southern alps to a wild, remote coastal area. It’s the only place in New Zealand where glaciers come in such a close contact with the ocean. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are the main highlights of the park.
Likewise, the entire park is weaved out of an impressive network of terrains, leading people to diverse and unique habitats, temperate rainforests, scenic lakes, contrasting tussock grasslands and wetlands. Furthermore, It offers visitors a bunch of adventurous activities such as kayaking adventures across the Lake Matheson and Mapourika and hunting opportunities for red deer, chamois, and tahr. Westland Tai Poutini National Park also serves shelter to several endangered bird species such as Kakariki, Kaka, Rowi as well as the South Island’s native parrot-Kea.

Key Highlights

  • Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are often the primary reason for the visit of many visitors.
  • The park features a prolific birdlife, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
  • The mountain ranges of southern alps are highly admired by the Maori people
  • Being situated on the Western coast of South Island, the park is prone to heavy rainfalls.

Westland Tai Poutini National Park
Whanganui National Park

Whanganui National Park

The Whanganui National Park is located in the central North Island and houses the upper reaches of the tranquil Whanganui River. This majestic river is New Zealand’s longest navigable river and stretches all the way from the Tongariro Park to the Tasman sea.
Popular activities of the park include a hiking trail through the wild lowland forests and river trips coupled along with a few adventurous activities down the Whanganui River. Similarly, the land encircling the river is home to an abundance of melodious native birdlife. Moving ahead, another prominent feature of the park is an overnight stay at the Tieke Marae; the area holds a significant Maori history and is a great way of tracing local customs in action.

Key Highlights

  • The park is located at the center of a sedimentary basin.
  • It’s a must for bird-watchers as it features a prolific range of native wild birds.
  • It features a distinctive landscape of river valley system.
  • Whanganui River if the heart of the Whanganui National Park.

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