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New Zealand Flora — Lush and Diverse


Tane Mahuta, Northland - click for more.

Tane Mahuta, the largest Kauri tree in New Zealand, dominates Northland’s Waipoua Forest.

New Zealand’s high rainfall and many sunshine hours give the country a lush and diverse flora — with 80 percent of the trees, ferns, and flowering plants being native. From the kauri forests of the far north to the mountain beech forests and alpine tussock of the Southern Alps, you’ll find fascinating plants and trees in every region. You’ll be awed by the majestic evergreen native forests that include rimu, totara, many varieties of beech, and the largest native tree of them all, the giant kauri. Underneath the trees you’ll find a dense and luxurious undergrowth including countless native shrubs, a variety of ferns, and many mosses and lichens.

Splashes of Colour

The yellow flowers of the kowhai tree are some of the prettiest you’ll ever see, and if you visit the North Island, you won’t be far from the beautiful pohutukawa tree. Its bright red flowers bloom in December, giving it the title of New Zealand’s Christmas tree.




New Zealand’s most famous tree is a kauri called Tane Mahuta. Named after the Maori god of the forests, Tane Mahuta stands over 51 metres high, has a girth of over 13 metres, and is believed to be over 2000 years old.

National Parks

Over 20 percent of New Zealand is covered in national parks, forest areas and reserves. Our 14 national parks contain an incredible variety of unspoiled landscape and vegetation. Administered and maintained by the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai, these parks provide opportunity for a wide variety of activities including hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, kayaking and trout fishing. Most national parks have excellent hiking tracks and camping facilities, including nearly 1000 huts throughout the country. You’ll also find information centres at these parks, and helpful signage along the tracks.

World Heritage Areas

The New Zealand mainland has two World Heritage Areas — Tongariro in the Central North Island and Te Wahipounamu in the south-west of the South Island. Te Wahipounamu is made up of four national parks — Westland/Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Fiordland. The area also contains the Milford and Routeburn tracks, two of New Zealand’s most spectacular walks, as well as Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, and spectacular glaciers. Tongariro is situated on the North Island’s volcanic plateau, and contains the active volcanoes Mount Tongariro, Ruapehu, and the cone-shaped Ngauruhoe. The area is of special cultural significance to Maori, and also contains Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake.


Scenic Waterfall - click for more.

A scenic waterfall in one of New Zealand’s many national parks and reserves.


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