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International > The picture of the week > National parks of New Zealand

Picture of the week (No.15): The national parks of New Zealand.                         Share

Each week (actually about 2 or 3 times a month), Willgoto selects here a nice picture. The national parks of New Zealand, particularly the Abel Tasman National Park, are the theme of the fifteenth photo of this series. New Zealand is the favorite destination of many tourists.

National Parks of New Zealand
One of New Zealand's National Parks: Abel Tasman National Park in the South Island.

The country. Long neglected by European tourists because of its remoteness, New Zealand has aroused a renewed interest for several years already (+ 35% of foreign visitors in 4 years). The country consists of two main islands and several smaller islands. The largest city of the country, Auckland, regularly ranks among the most livable cities in the world. No less than 30% of the country's territory are protected as conservation parks, national parks or other protected public or private areas.

To these natural attractions, was added in last years the desire of many enthusiasts to discover the sites where the trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" was filmed. As a matter of fact, after shooting the trilogy, the filming locations were partially dismantled in 2004.They were however completely rebuilt for the The Hobbit movies and then kept unchanged as a tourist attraction with great success.

Most recently, the US press reported a new trend in favor of New Zealand. Some of the wealthiest people in the United States would seek to acquire large properties in New Zealand to take refuge there in the event of a nuclear or other cataclysm. Despite relatively frequent earthquakes, New Zealand has the advantage of being a country that is safe, pretty and far from problem areas.

Abel Tasman National Park (225 km²) is the smallest of the 13 national parks in New Zealand. Like most of these parks, it is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It is located in the northern part of this island. Abel Tasman National Park is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful sandy beaches and famous hiking trails.

Tongariro National Park (796 km²) is the oldest national park in the country since it was established in 1887. It welcomes about 1 million visitors a year. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as are four other national parks (Aoraki / Mt Cook, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring, Westland) which form the Te Wāhipounamu region (totaling 26,000 km²) and occupy the entire South-West of the South Island. Fiordland National Park (12,519 km²) is the largest of the country's national parks.

The author of the above photo is Dirk Wuyts. Its website ( is dedicated to photos and travelogues of the ADC scuba diving club Antwerpen - Deurne. His web site, in Dutch, contains countless pictures from underwater life in different parts of the world.

You may also want to see these other beautiful pictures from New Zealand:

The Lord of the Rings

Natural attractions

National parks


See also:
Picture of the week 1: Bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. It is endemic to Cuba.
Picture of the week 2: Pagoda of the Golden Rock in Myanmar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world.
Picture of the week 3: Seychelles beach. Seychelles is a perfect destination for a dream holiday.
Picture of the week 4: Lemur of Madagascar (Coquerel's sifaka), an endangered species of primates, which, like all other species of lemurs, is endemic to Madagascar.
Picture of the week 5: World heritage in Cambodia. The temple of Banteay Srei, better known as 'Citadel of the women', in Cambodia is a jewel of Khmer art and a world heritage site.
Picture of the week 6: Bull shark and tiger shark. Both sharks are unfortunately known for fatal attacks on humans. However, experienced divers can approach them and swim with them.
Picture of the week 7: Firewalking in Mauritius. Walking barefoot over a bed of hot embers is an ancestral religious practice.
Picture of the week 8: The flower carpet of the Grand Place in Brussels. This carpet made up of about a million cut flowers is a tourist attraction that takes place every two years.
Picture of the week 9: Giant oceanic manta rays. Video and pictures. The giant oceanic manta ray is a particularly impressive ray that can be up to 7 meters wide and weigh up to two tons.
Picture of the week 10: Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Réunion is a dream destination particularly for all outdoor activities, such as hiking, canyoning, paragliding, and many more.
Picture of the week 11: Beaches of Cambodia. Sihanoukville and the small islands off that beach resort offer wonderful opportunities for beach holidays.
Picture of the week 12: Holidays in Cape Verde. Pictures from a beach in Boa Vista and a mountain village in Santo Antão. The Islands of the archipelago of Cape Verde are indeed very different from each other.
Picture of the week 13: Mountain gorilla in Uganda. The gorillas, the bonobos, and the chimpanzees are the closest living beings to human beings. There are only 600 mountain gorillas in the whole world.
Picture of the week 14: The Terracotta Army of the first Chinese Emperor. The terracotta army discovered in the 1970s near the city of Xi'An attracts visitors from all over the world.

See  all our "Pictures of the week".



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No less than 30% of New Zealand's territory are protected as conservation parks, national parks or other protected public or private areas.