In New Zealand, there are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Yet, only two of New Zealand’s three World Heritage Sites are open to the general public. You need a permit to enter the last one, and there are scheduled tourist excursions there a few times a year. To learn more about the New Zealand World Heritage Sites, keep reading this article.
1. Tongariro National Park
The Maori people of New Zealand attach great cultural value to Tongariro National Park. Maori Chief Te Heuheu Tukino gave some of it to the Kiwis as a gift to make sure the land had the necessary protection and maintenance. The North Island location was the first to be included in the World Heritage Site list in 1993 as a cultural landscape.
The fourth national park in the world to be designated as a World Heritage Site is Tongariro. The Maori place great significance on some park features, such as the mountains, in terms of their religion and culture. They have long represented the spiritual ties that exist between the people and the environment.
Volcanic activity is still present in this region; Mount Ruapehu, which is located in the park, last erupted in 1996. There is no denying the character of the area due to the sulfurous odors and the bizarrely colored lakes.
2. Te Wahipounamu
This area, which encompasses Westland, Mount Aspiring, Mount Cook National Park, and Fiordland, was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1990. The park is home to remnants of 800-year-old beech and podocarp forests. Te Wahipounamu has high cliffs, lakes, waterfalls, and coastlines, as well as glaciers and fjords.
Te Whipounamu, a region of over 1.9 million hectares, is the only place on earth where the Takahe, a rare and endangered flightless bird, and the kea, the only alpine parrot, may be found.
Short walks on the hiking paths that are surrounded by nature and overnight hiking trails are managed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Spend the night in communal huts or savor fine cuisine while on guided tours if you’re seeking a little adventure here!
3. Subantarctic Islands
Campbell, Bounty, Auckland, Snares, and Antipodes islands are among the group of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, which are renowned for their secrecy and mystery. These islands provide a haven for a wide range of animals, birds, and regionally specific plants and invertebrates.
One hundred twenty-six different bird species may be found on these islands, 40 of which are sea birds. Five of these species only breed on these islands in New Zealand. In 1998, the designation of each of these five islands as a World Heritage Site was given. As you require a permit and guided trips to access them, you should start planning your trip as soon as possible.
These islands are carefully monitored for visitor numbers, and only ships specifically designed for such missions are permitted to travel there. Visitors must take care of the ecosystems on these islands, which are given the highest level of protection.
- Don’t miss 7 most incredible mountains in New Zealand