New Zealand's high rainfall and many hours of sunshine contribute to our lush and diverse flora - with 80 percent of the trees, ferns, and flowering plants being native. From the Kauri forests of the far north to the mountain beech forests and alpine tussock of the Southern Alps, you will find fascinating plants and trees in every region.
You'll be awed by the majestic native evergreen forests that include Rimu, Totara, many varieties of beech, and the largest native tree of them all, the giant Kauri. Underneath the trees, you'll find dense and luxurious undergrowth including countless native shrubs, a variety of ferns, and many mosses and lichens.
At 606km2, Lake Taupo is the largest lake in Australasia and is roughly the size of Singapore. Lake Taupo is one of the last wild trout fisheries in the world, famous for its abundance of trophy-sized rainbow trout.
New Zealand's most famous tree is a Kauri called Tane Mahuta, 'God of the forests'. Tane Mahuta stands over 51 metres high, has a girth of over 13 metres, and is over 2000 years old. Kauri trees played an important part in the pioneering days and these magnificent trees can still be seen along the Kauri Coast in the far North.
Waikoropupu Springs located near Nelson (at the north end of the South Island), is reputedly the clearest freshwater spring in the world with an outflow of approximately 2,160 million litres of water every 24 hours.
Frying Pan Lake near Rotorua is the world's largest hot water spring, reaching 200°C.
Curio Bay in Southland is one of the most extensive and least disturbed examples of a petrified forest.
The Tongariro National Park in the centre of the North Island was the first national park to be established in New Zealand, and the fourth the world, as well as the first to be gifted by an indigenous people.
The physical environment and landscape, such as our lakes and forests, are important to New Zealand and to the tourism industry. To use these resources in a sustainable manner must ensure their protection into the future!