Rakiura National Park

Rakiura National Park is the 14th of New Zealand's national parks and was officially opened on 9 March 2002 by the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, the Minister of Conservation, Sandra Lee, and the mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. It is New Zealand's newest national park.

It covers 1,570 square kilometres (610 sq mi), which is about 85% of Stewart Island, New Zealand's third-largest island. The park area excludes the township area around Halfmoon Bay (Oban) and some roads as well as private or Maori-owned land further inland. It is made up of a network of former nature reserves, scenic reserves, and State Forest areas.

A chain sculpture at the entrance to Rakiura National Park symbolises the Maori view that Stewart Island is anchored to South Island; the sculpture was unveiled as part of the opening of the national park. In 2008, a similar sculpture was erected in Bluff, and it represents the other end of the chain

The popular Rakiura Track is within the national park. Many native birds can be found within the park, and Rakiura offers perhaps the best opportunity anywhere in New Zealand for viewing kiwi in the wild. This is in part due to the absence of stoats and ferrets. Certain coastal areas of this park are breeding areas for the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. Weka, a flightless and curious bird species, can only be found on offshore islands.

In the 1970s, kakapo were found in the Tin Range at a time when it was thought that the species was nearly extinct. The kakapo have been transferred to nearby Codfish Island, which is not part of the national park.

Rakiura Track

The Rakiura Track is a 29-kilometre (18 mi) tramping track on Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand, and one of the New Zealand Great Walks.

It lies within the Rakiura National Park and can be walked over a one- to three-day period. It generally follows the coastline for a large parts of its length, passing small inlets, large bays and mudflats, before crossing steep hills covered in bush (dense forest) during its middle section. There are two huts on the track, at Port William and the North Arm of Paterson Inlet, and many people overnight at each. There are also camping sites available at Maori Beach, Port William and North Arm.

Large sections of the track have been gravelled, without this, the track often degrades into mud. This is due to two factors, the peaty nature of the soil, and the large amounts of rain that Stewart Island receives during the year. In general, the track is well-maintained, and of easy to medium difficulty. The given track length does not include several additional kilometres of paved road at the start and end of the walk from Half Moon Bay.

The track is equipped with huts for the use of trampers, though these must be booked in advance. The huts are equipped with firewood, flown in by helicopter as no roads connect to any of the huts and trampers are not allowed to cut their own wood. There are no cooking facilities in the huts, therefore trampers are advised to carry their own stoves and cooking equipment. There is a store in Oban where gas canisters can be purchased as well as other necessary supplies.

Ulva Island

Ulva Island (from Scottish Gaelic: Eilean na Ulbha) is a small island about 3.5 km (2.17 mi) long lying within Paterson Inlet, which is part of Stewart Island/Rakiura in New Zealand. It has an area of about 270 hectares (670 acres), the majority of which is part of Rakiura National Park. It was named after the island of Ulva in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland and was formerly called Coopers Island.

Ulva Island's relative isolation, but easy access from Stewart Island has allowed it to become an important natural resource area. It is a sanctuary for both birds and plants, holding species that on the mainland of New Zealand are rare or have died out. In 1997, the island was declared rat-free, following an eradication program, and extirpated birds have been reintroduced to the island. The birds include the South Island saddleback (tieke), yellowhead (mohua) and Stewart Island robin. Other birds on the island that are rare on the mainland include the Stewart Island subspecies of southern brown kiwi (tokoeka), rifleman (Tītitipounamu), yellow-crowned and red-fronted parakeet, and South Island kākā or forest parrot, as well as several other species. The endangered yellow-eyed penguin uses the island for breeding sites 

Mount Allen

Mount Allen is the second-highest peak on Stewart Island/Rakiura, in southern New Zealand. Located in the southwest of the island, it lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the coast at Port Pegasus. Mount Allen rises to a height of 750 metres (2,460 ft), and is the highest point in a short range of hills known as Tin Ridge. Mount Allen lies within Rakiura National Park

Paterson Inlet

Paterson Inlet is a large natural harbour in the eastern coast of Stewart Island/Rakiura, New Zealand, much of which is unspoilt forest.

This region was first inhabited by the Māori, who settled at a locale known as The Neck, which is a long peninsula that extends across the mouth of the inlet from the southern coast. The only town on Stewart Island, Oban is located on the north coast of the inlet, close to its mouth. In earlier times, the inlet was used as a base for whaling. Southern right whales were the main target in this area and over expoited. Fortunately, however, their sightings around the island are increasing recently.

Paterson Inlet has three main arms; North Arm and South West Arm lie at the upper reaches of the inlet, 15 kilometres from its mouth. Big Glory Bay, the third arm of the inlet, lies behind The Neck in the southeast of the inlet. The inlet drains the Rakeahua and Freshwater Rivers, the latter of which drains a large swampy valley that covers much of the northern part of the island

Halfmoon Bay

Halfmoon Bay lies on the eastern coast of Stewart Island/Rakiura in New Zealand.

The town of Oban lies in the bay. A small fishing fleet and a ferry service from Bluff use the bay.

The gardens of Moturau Moana built by Isabel Noeline Baker, are New Zealand's southernmost public gardens.

Half Moon Bay and its neighbour Horseshoe Bay are the subject of a name mixup, caused by early cartographers. Half Moon Bay is in fact shaped more like a horseshoe, whereas Horseshoe Bay is shaped like a half moon

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Around the Mountains Cycle Trail

The trail was one of the first to receive funding, in June 2010, as one of the New Zealand Cycle Trail's Quick-Start projects, with $4 million being allocated to complete the Walter Peak to Mossburn stage.The section to the Mavora Lakes was on an existing road so could be opened, but the next piece along the upper Oreti River to Mossburn faced considerable opposition from trout fishing groups which meant construction did not proceed.

As a result, in early 2013 a new plan was agreed with the government to construct Stage One from Kingston to Mossburn for $3.7 million by the end of October that year, with Stage Two from Mossburn to the Mavora Lakes to be completed by the end of 2015. Further problems regarding the route in the Athol area led to an additional $500,000 of government funding and a revised completion date for the first stage of 31 May 2014. In June it was announced that the five suspension bridges were expected to be completed in September and that this section would be finished by the end of October. Stage One was opened by Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English, in a ceremony at Lumsden on 1 November 2014.

Hollyford Track

The Hollyford Track is a tramping track in New Zealand. Located at the northern edge of Fiordland, in the southwestern South Island, it is unusual among Fiordland's major tracks in that it is largely flat and accessible year-round. It follows the Hollyford River which in turn follows the course of the Hollyford Valley. 

For most of its path, the track follows the course of the Hollyford River / Hollyford Valley. Features of the track are the two lakes, Lake Alabaster (or Waiwahuika) and Lake McKerrow (or Whakatipu Waitai), the latter being a fiord now cut off from the sea by sediment. The track runs through lowland forest, with views of surrounding mountains. Wildlife visible from the track include seals, penguins, and herons.

Te Ana-au Caves

The Te Ana-au caves are a culturally and ecologically important system of limestone caves on the western shore of Lake Te Anau, in the southwest of New Zealand. It was discovered in 1948 by Lawson Burrows, who found the upper entry after three years of searching, following clues in old Māori legends. It later became a major tourist attraction for the area, as the part of the caverns close to the lake shore is home to glowworms. The unofficial name used by the national caving association is Aurora. The caves are geologically young (estimated 12,000 years) and hence there is only one tiny stalagmite

Kingston Flyer

The Kingston Flyer is a vintage steam train in the South Island of New Zealand at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu. It used 14 kilometres of preserved track that once formed a part of the Kingston Branch. It suspended operation in December 2012 due to locomotive problems. Services resumed later that month following the return of the railway's second steam locomotive. However it then ceased once again and various assets were sold off. Trains and rolling stock are currently, mid-2014, out of use at the end of the line in Kingston

Milford Track

The Milford Track is a widely known tramping (hiking) route in New Zealand – located amidst mountains and temperate rain forest in Fiordland National Park in the southwest of the South Island.

The 53.5 km hike starts at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishes Milford Sound at Sandfly Point, traversing rainforests, wetlands, and an alpine pass.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation classifies this track as a Great Walk and maintains three huts along the track: Clinton Hut, Mintaro Hut and Dumpling Hut. There are also three private lodges and four day shelters available.

Southern Scenic Route

The Southern Scenic Route is a tourist highway in New Zealand linking Queenstown, Fiordland, Te Anau and the iconic Milford Road to Dunedin via, Riverton, Invercargill and The Catlins. An Australian travel magazine labelled it "one of the world's great undiscovered drives" in 2008The Southern Scenic Route follows a U-shaped route from Queenstown to Dunedin. Skirting the eastern boundary of Fiordland National Park the route passes Manapouri and Tuatapere. At Te Waewae Bay the coast is reached and the route swings eastward towards Orepuki, Colac Bay and Riverton. At Lorneville the New Zealand State Highway network is joined, and the Southern Scenic Route follows Highway 6 south into Invercargill.

From Invercargill the Southern Scenic Route heads east through Fortrose into the Catlins then through Owaka to Balclutha. This part was formerly a state highway, State Highway 92. The next section of rugged coastline with poor roading through Kaitangata is avoided as the Southern Scenic Route follows SH1 to Milton and Lake Waihola

Greenstone and Caples Tracks

The Greenstone and Caples Tracks form a tramping (hiking) 61 kilometres (38 mi) circuit which is located in the South Island of New Zealand. Each track can be completed by itself and are linked by the McKellar Saddle while the loop also links to several other tracks including the New Zealand Great Walk of the Routeburn Track as well as the Mavora Lakes Conservation Park tracks. All of these areas are part of the Te Wāhipounamu/South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area

Kepler Track

The Kepler Track is a 60 km (37 mi) circular tramping track which travels through some spectacular scenery of the South Island of New Zealand and is situated near the town of Te Anau. The track passes through many landscapes of the Fiordland National Park such as rocky mountain ridges, tall mossy forests, lake shores, deep gorges, rare wetlands and rivers. Like the mountains it traverses, the track is named after Johannes Kepler. The track is one of the New Zealand Great Walks and is administered by New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC).

Compared with other tracks in New Zealand, this walking track is constructed to a very high standard. Most streams are bridged, boardwalks cover boggy areas and the very steep sections have steps. It is a moderate walking track that takes three to four days to complete

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