Abel Tasman National Park
New Zealand attracts a huge number of travelers who want to learn more about the extraordinarily rich nature of this country and have a great vacation at the same time. Abel Tasman National Park is a great place to combine the two and is world famous for its beaches and activities.
The park was discovered in the middle of the last century (1942) and was named after the Dutch explorer and navigator Abel Tasman, who first reached the shores of New Zealand in 1642. The area of the park is about 225 km², so it is considered the smallest New Zealand nature reserve. The last increase in area dates back to 2008, when the park included about 8 km² of private land.
The park owes its appearance to an eco-activist named Perine Moncrieff, who became concerned about the disappearance of the forest here. The original area of the reserve was about 150 km². According to tradition, the park is under the patronage of members of the Dutch royal family. The Ministry of Nature Conservation maintains official control of the reserve.
Flora and fauna
A large part of the park’s territory is covered with dense beech forests (most often seen in the uplands) and thickets of red tassek. The forests have become a habitat for many birds. Travelers can come across tui, bellbirds, and pukeko.
Experienced tourists say that these birds prefer to settle in the mouths of dry rivers, so a visit to such places can be included in your walking itinerary. And on the coast seals are not uncommon guests. Birds are also numerous here, and they include cormorants and little penguins.
The topography of the reserve is quite diverse. On the coast you can find wonderful sandy beaches, attracting travelers from all over the world. If you move inland from the coast, you can find yourself on the hills (they rise about 1 km from the land surface).
Other attractions include sinkholes and exposed bedrock, called rock outcrops. Especially noteworthy are the estuaries of rivers that have survived to the present day in their original form.
The park offers its visitors ample conditions for a full and rich recreation. Visiting the beaches provides an excellent opportunity not only to lie on the sand, but also to swim in boats, kayaks and sailing. Another popular activity – excursions to the nearby islands.
You can get acquainted with local nature by going on a hike. A very popular route is called Pribrezhny. It lies along the coast and through the woods. Its length is quite impressive – 51 km. To pass it, it takes at least 3 days. But it is easy enough, so it can be overcome even by tourists who do not have any special training.
You can stay in hostels and cottages located on the territory of the reserve. There are also camping sites equipped with minimum amenities (toilets and clean water).
Abel Tasman National Park is a wonderful place, which provides its visitors a great opportunity to relax and gain a lot of vivid impressions. It is worth to come here at least once to see it for yourself.