New Zealand's high rainfall and many sunshine hours give the country a 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'll find fascinating plants and trees in every region.
You'll be awed by the majestic evergreen native 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.
With 606km, Lake Taupo is the largest lake in Australasia. It is 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 (North end of the South Island), are reputedly the clearest fresh water springs 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 second national park to be established in the world.
The physical environment and landscapes, such as our lakes and forests are important to New Zealand and to the tourism industry. To use these resources in a sustainable manner will ensure their protection into the future!