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Kahurangi National Park

Formally known as North West Nelson Forest Park, Kahurangi National Park ("treasured possession") is New Zealand's newest, created in 1996. It is also one of the largest At 452,002 hectares, only Fiordland National Park is larger.

Located in the northwest corner of the South Island, Kahurangi has a number of access points and the towns of Motueka, Takaka, Karamea, Tapawera and Murchison all boarder the National Park.

Hundreds of millions of years ago Kahurangi was joined to Fiordland until the same forces that raised the Southern Alps skewed Fiordland and Kahurangi 450 km apart along the Alpine fault. It is a geologically complex area much of the rock is sedimentary, laid down in an ancient sea, then faulted, uplifted and scoured, in places, by glaciers other parts of the area are limestone characterised by the caves, sinkholes and bluffs that can be found in the park.

The presence of such diverse rock types has allowed for the evolution of a diverse range of plants and wildlife, infact Kahurangi is home to about 50 per cent of all recorded plant species in New Zealand. The forests (85 per cent of park), wetlands and alpine zones sustain over 100 native bird species including the great spotted kiwi, blue duck (whio), rock wren, fernbird and the yellow crowned parakeet.

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