Navigating the Forest Parks of New Zealand

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Mount Richmond Forest Park

Mount Richmond Forest Park is located in the northern part of South Island, partially by the city of Nelson. It is a large park with an area of 166,000 hectares, and it stretches along the backbone of the Mount Richmond Range, going from Saint Arnaud to the coast. Over 80% of this park is very dense forest, and there are over 436 kilometers of walking track throughout its grounds. People also go here for kayacking and fishing. For birdwatchers, there are some interesting species, like blue duck and yellow-crowned parakeets.

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Aorangi Forest Park

Aorangi Forest Park is located on North Island, on its southern tip, about two hours driving from Wellington. Though often cloudy in this park, rain and fog are uncommon. This park is full of many geologic wonders, like impressive earth pillars and rock slabs. Lots of people go to this park for hunting and trapping.

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Victoria Forest Park

Victoria Forest Park is in the wilderness zone between the West Coast and the Southern Alps in South Island. Though the largest forest park in New Zealand (210,731 hectares), it is not as visited as many of the other ones. It is famous for being mountainous and having beech forests. There are also impressive walks through the former mining trails, fishing, gold panning, camping and other such wilderness activities.

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Rimutaka Forest Park

Rimutaka Forest Park is located on North Island, east of Wellington. The Rimutaka Mountain Range and Orongorongo River are located in the premises of this park, which is over 14,000 hectares. For those who are seeking a comfortable forest experience, Catchpool Valley is a nice area for picknicking, walking and swimming. There are also many walking trails in this park for all different levels of hikers.

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Pirongia Forest Park

Pirongia Forest Park is located in the center of North Island, west of Hamilton. Mt Pirongia is a popular place to hike, with a summit of 959 meters. The park is full of interesting species of trees, and has lots of places to camp.

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Lake Sumner Forest Park

Lake Sumner Forest Park is located in the Canterbury Region of South Island. It is a beautiful park for trout fishing, kayacking and mountain biking. Aside from Lake Sumner, several other lakes and the Hurunui River are located in the forest park.

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