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Kahurangi National Park

In the Maori language, Kahurangi means 'treasured possession' . Within its boundaries are some of the oldest rocks, strangest plants and rarest birds in New Zealand.

The Heaphy Track is the park's most famous and accessible treasure. A 'Great Walk' by every definition, the track covers 78 kilometres of subtropical rainforest, tussock high country, river valley and coast. Every year more than 4000 walkers follow the route, which for hundreds of years was used by local tribes on their way to the pounamu (greenstone) resources of the west coast.

Key Highlights

The complex landforms of Kahurangi National Park attract fossil hunters, cavers and anyone with a fascination for geology. On the surface, fluted rock, arches, sinkholes, shafts and disappearing/ reappearing streams give the landscape exceptional character. Mount Owen and Mount Arthur are the park's 'marble mountains'. Within the mountains, water has dissolved the marble to create extensive cave systems.

There are 18 species of native birds living in the park. While walking, visitors will be serenaded by bellbirds, tui and sociable South Island Robins. Several species of native land snail may also be encountered. These giant snails are carnivorous, feeding at night on worms that grow up to a metre long. If you go caving, keep an eye out for the Kahurangi Cave Spider, one of the world's rarest, which has a leg span of up to 12 centimetres.