New Zealand’s second largest national park is located in the north-west of the South Island and can be accessed from Motueka, near Nelson or Takaka and Murchison. The park is of great interest to cavers, as it is home to the longest and oldest caves in New Zealand and beneath Mt Arthur, lies the deepest cave system in the Southern Hemisphere. Fossils and fascinating rock formations abound in the park and it was here that New Zealand’s oldest fossil was found. The variety geological features has created a range of ecosystems within this large park, resulting in Kahurangi containing the most diverse range of flora found in New Zealand. The best way to explore the park is on foot and the Department of Conservation website has detailed information on a number of walking tracks, including the Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. The Heaphy track is the longest of all the great walks, taking 4 to 6 days to travel the 78.4km well-marked trail. Along the way you pass through a variety of landscapes from beech forests to tussock grasslands, then the lush green podocarp forests before reaching the coastline with its tropical looking Nikau Palms.
The access road to Mount Arthur – the second highest mountain in Kahurangi National Park – climbs to almost 1,000 metres and is an awesome activity on its own, affording marvellous views and hinting at what is to follow. Hike through an ever-improving and diverse birdlife becomes apparent with Kea, Weka often as low as the carpark then bellbird, the tiny rifleman, tomtit, and the fearless bush robin entertain all thanks to the volunteer group Friends of Flora and their trapping programme.
This part of Kahurangi National Park is one of New Zealand’s most interesting for visitors, with its impressive mountain and bush scenery, remarkable botany and geology, and interesting human stories. The Mount Arthur area has many special geological features. Nowhere else in New Zealand has such a complex series of ancient rocks been eroded into such a distinctively different landscape.
Tracking west into the Kahurangi mountains, enjoy a flight over unspoilt country before your pilot lands at a remote alpine location, where you can enjoy the overwhelming surrounds of New Zealand’s second largest National Park. Following your mountain landing, you descend further north west to Golden Bay, and track the beautiful coastline to land in the remote settlement of Puponga, situated at the base of Farewell Spit.
Here join Farewell Spit Eco Tours for a private guided tour of Farewell Spit, the natural sandspit that spans approximately 26 km above the tide mark across the top of the South Island. Hear the history of Puponga and New Zealand’s first Radar Station. See where whales strand and uncover the mystery of the migrant waders. During the summer there are up to 20,000 godwits and 30,000 knots at the Spit, as well as other northern migratory birds, New Zealand natives and introduced species.
A popular style of touring is to take a preplanned self drive road trip. After a thorough consultation with you we expertly plan and create your self drive tour around New Zealand. These tours allow you the freedom to explore at leisure with the comfort and security of pre-booked activities and accommodations. Route suggestions, APP guidance plus local support mean your New Zealand vacation is in safe hands. See self drive ideas here
If you prefer to let someone else do the work then an escorted small group tour might be for you. Our sister company at New Zealanbd Coach has a range of hand picked small group itineraries are ideal if you prefer to travel in the company of like minded people. Tours are limited to a certain number of participants which means different accommodation options, exclusive activities and of course a knowledgeable guide ensures you get to see the best of New Zealand. See small group tours here.
A private guided tour offers true flexibility and the security of a knowledgeable local guiding you all the way. Well planned itineraries ensure you see exactly what you want to see but with your own driver-guide you can adapt to suit the day or your preference. 100% tailor-made to suit you a private tour is a great option when travelling as a small group. All our self drive itineraries can be replanned and priced using a private driver and guide, so if it is what you fancy just contact us to discuss.
All North Island touring ideas - See here to explore the diverse North Island - itinerary suggestions.
All South Island touring ideas - Iconic scenery and landscapes await on this made for touring island. See itinerary suggestions
All Nationwide touring ideas - See the best of New Zealand on these all encompassing touring itinerary ideas