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Bush and Beyond

New Zealand's Kahurangi National Park, Guided Walk Specialists

Sundew in flower

Kahurangi's Flora & Fauna

Native flax in flower, Mt Arthur agains yellow bulbinella and dense beech.
Native flax in flower, Mt Arthur agains yellow bulbinella and dense beech.

Flora (Plant life)

The standard images of Kahurangi include nikau palms of the West Coast and the tussock flats of the Tablelands and Gouland Downs. However, around 80% of the park is in forest cover, mostly native beech. Coastal and lowland forests grow around the margins.

More than 1,200 native plant species (50% of all of New Zealand's native plants and a massive 80% of all alpine species), and many still undescribed.

Species typical of both the North and South Island are found within the park. This makes Kahurangi the most diverse botanical area in the country.

Orchid
Orchid

The shape of the landscape has resulted in a mosaic of distinct ecosystems such include freshwater wetland, duneland, coastal shrubland, shrubland, coastal, lowland and upland forest, subalpine and alpine vegetation zones.

Like New Zealand's bird life, the flora is a result of millions of years of isolation. When the first botanists arrived in this country, they weren't amazed at the variety of flora so much as the number of endemic species never seen before.

Kahurangi Park has by far the largest variety. The reasons are that Kahurangi is situated in the centre of New Zealand on a latitude where many species find their southern or northern limits.

From an alpine perspective, Kahurangi escaped most of the ice sheets during the last ice age, and may well have been a refuge for alpine plant life. Hence its huge amount (80%), of all New Zealand's alpine species.

Fungi

Beech and podocarp-beech forests are also home to an array of colourful native fungi. May-June is the best time to see them.

Where To View

Location: Kahuragi and Heaphy Coast

Type of flora and zone:

Coastal shrub and forest, broadleaf, podocarp, sand dunes and nikau palms.

Location: Leslie Karamea Valley

Type of flora and zone:

Streams, riverside, lakes, podocarp and beech forest.

Location: Cobb Valley

Type of flora and zone:

Streams, riverside, lakes and beech forest.

Location: Diamond Lakes

Type of flora and zone:

Streams riverside and lakes.

Location: Wangapeka Track

Type of flora and zone:

Streams, riverside and lakes.

Location: Heaphy Track

Type of flora and zone:

Podocarp and beech forest, sub-alpine and alpine scrub, herb and fellfields and tussock grasslands.

Location: Mt Arthur

Type of flora and zone:

Beech forest, herb and fellfields, scree and rock.

Mt Owen Plateau

Type of flora and zone:

Herb and fellfields, tussock grasslands.

Location: Matiri Tops

Type of flora and zone:

Herb and fellfields and tussock grasslands,.

Location: Tablelands

Type of flora and zone:

Tussock grasslands.

Location: Mount Owen

Type of flora and zone:

Scree and rock.

Location: Mount Peel

Type of flora and zone:

Scree and rock.

Location: Upper Cobb

Type of flora and zone:

Scree and rock.

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Bush and Beyond Guided Walks, 1544 Dovedale Road, RD2, Wakefield, 7096, New Zealand,
Overseas: 64 21 027 08209,    New Zealand: 021 027 08209,    After Hours: 03 543 3742

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