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Archive for kahurangi national park

New Zealand’s Treasured Possession

By Linda Tancs

New Zealand’s second-largest national park, Kahurangi takes its name from a Maori word meaning “treasured possession.” It’s easy to understand why. For one thing, the park served as a filming site for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Another one of its assets is the network of walking trails. The Heaphy Track, in particular, covers 48 miles of subtropical rainforest, high country, river valley and coast. It’s the same route used for hundreds of years by Maori tribes en route to the treasures of greenstone, a durable stone that plays an important role in Maori culture. And its ancient geology gives rise to even more treasures, like the discovery of New Zealand’s oldest fossil (540 million years old) and an extensive network of caves. Motueka, Takaka, Karamea and Murchison are the park’s gateway towns. Check with the Department of Conservation for the latest weather and track conditions before you set out.

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