New Zealand's 14 national parks, managed by the Department of Conservation, make up a network that extends from Tongariro in the north to Rakiura/Stewart Island in the far south and preserves some of the most spectacular scenic and wilderness areas on earth. These are landscapes of extraordinary diversity, from the mystical lakes of Te Urewera to the glaciers and alpine peaks of Aoraki/Mount Cook, or the majestic depths of Fiordland, where even today there are remote tracts never trodden by humans. This guide book introduces each park in turn and gives an overview of its natural and human history, along with comprehensive visitor information including access to parks, when to visit, safety considerations, and contact details for local tour operators and DoC visitor centres. It lists the recreational and sporting activities on offer, ranging from easy family tramps to world-class climbing and encompassing almost everything in between.
Kathy Ombler is a freelance writer, whose interests lie in conservation, nature tourism and the travel and tourism industries. In the past 25 years Kathy has either lived in, or visited, all of New Zealand's national parks. Kathy has written several books and magazine articles on conservation and tourism and has been involved in writing and research for park management and other conservation organisations.