National parks

New Zealand has 13 national parks, each offering its own unique landscape. Two North Island parks, Tongariro and Egmont, centre on volcanoes while the third, Whanganui, has a river at its heart. The South Island offers the coastal karst of Paparoa and Abel Tasman, the mountaineering challenges of Mount Aspiring and Aoraki / Mount Cook, the classic tramping of Nelson Lakes, Arthur's Pass, and Kahurangi, the remote wilderness of Westland and Fiordland. Further south, Rakiura incorporates the majority of Stewart Island.

Entry into New Zealand national parks is unrestricted although motor vehicles and bicycles are prohibited. Services within parks are very limited. Visitors should be self-sufficient. Free camping is allowed. A large number of public huts are available in the parks, generally on a first-come-first served basis for a small fee.


Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park

In many ways, the track that explores the golden shoreline of this coastal park and the park itself have become synonymous. When people say "Abel Tasman," they invariably mean both the park, New Zealand's smallest, and the track, New Zealand's ...   More ▶︎
Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

A climbers' park surrounding New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki / Mount Cook, at 3724m. Mount Cook National Park is part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. The Copland Track is a classic crossing of Copland Pass (2150m), leading from Mount ...   More ▶︎
Arthur's Pass National Park

Arthur's Pass National Park

This alpine park straddles the Main Divide of the Southern Alps, with dry beech forests in the east and damp podocarp forests to the west. While lacking the international icon tracks, Arthur's Pass is a popular park with local trampers, ...   More ▶︎
Egmont National Park

Egmont National Park

Encircling the symmetrical cone of Mt Taranaki, this is New Zealand's second national park, dating from 1900.   More ▶︎
Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park

New Zealand's largest park, with large areas of impenetrable wilderness. Includes the Glaisnock and Pembroke Wilderness Areas. Fiordland National Park is part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. Highest point: 2746m (Mt Tutoko).   More ▶︎
Kahurangi National Park

Kahurangi National Park

New Zealand's second largest, and youngest national park, dating from 1996. A large area of land at the top of the South Island with some easier and some more challenging walking along lengthy tracks. Home to the most diverse flora ...   More ▶︎
Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park

The third-largest national park, although most of its space is under-utilised. The Routeburn is the second busiest trail in New Zealand. The Olivine Wilderness Area is located in this park. Mount Aspiring National Park is part of Te Wahipounamu World ...   More ▶︎
Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes National Park

An alpine park of beech forests, valleys, and glacial lakes, offering some relatively easy walking. Established in 1956. Highest point: 2340m (Mt Franklin).   More ▶︎
Paparoa National Park

Paparoa National Park

A land of cliffs, gorges, caves, and disappearing rivers, draped in rich coastal forest.   More ▶︎
Rakiura National Park

Rakiura National Park

New Zealand's newest and southernmost park, on Stewart Island.   More ▶︎
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park

New Zealand's first national park andand one of the first to be created anywhere in the world. The volcanic heart of the North Island was given to the Crown by Horonuku Te Heuheu Tukino IV in 1887 and gazetted as ...   More ▶︎
Westland / Tai Poutini National Park

Westland / Tai Poutini National Park

This park stretches from the coastline along the Tasman Sea to the peaks of the Southern Alps. Westland National Park is part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.   More ▶︎
Whanganui National Park

Whanganui National Park

Lowland forest surrounding the long and sinuous Whanganui River, the longest navigable river in New Zealand. New Zealand's 11th national park, gazetted in 1986.   More ▶︎
Number of parks 13
Total area 2,879,927
square kilometres
That's 10.7%
of New Zealand
Largest park Fiordland National Park
12,570.00 square kilometres
Smallest park Abel Tasman National Park
225.33 square kilometres