New Zealand’s has fourteen stunning national parks that encompass a variety of landscapes, wildlife and vegetation. From the sparkling beaches of the Tasman, to the snow capped peaks of Arthur’s Pass, to the raging Wanganui River, national parks were created to preserve New Zealand’s beautiful and unique natural environment.
New Zealand also has more than 25 marine reserves that protect beautiful and irreplaceable flora and fauna. All of New Zealand’s marine reserves are protected, meaning that nothing can be disturbed or taken from the site. As well as the obvious conservation merits, tourists find this rule works to their advantage, as there is more for them to see and the native wildlife are unafraid of humans.
The world’s first no-take marine reserve was established in 1975 in Goat Island, north of Auckland. The species living in this area have had thirty years to recover from their fear of humans, and fish swim fearlessly around humans.
Fiorldand, in New Zealand’s south island, is an important national park that protects the world’s largest black coral trees, which are over 300 years old. The country’s most famous marine reserve is the Poor Knights, where subtropical currents, huge caves and archways and a varied and fascinating array of marine life attract visitors from all over the world. Poor Knights has been rated one of the 10 best dive sites in the world.
National parks and marine reserves protect some of New Zealand’s most important national treasures, ensuring they will remain for many more generations to enjoy.