nzbirds >   birding (NZ birdwatching) >   birding sites

Heaphy Track - Kahurangi National Park

Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park  (1st page) Directions/Transport Site map Birds found here Photos / Images Reviews/Trip reports
Link to DOC:
Kahurangi National Park
Bush and Beyond
Bush & Beyond
Guided Wilderness Treks
[email protected]
Photographs of Heaphy rain forest & Mt Arthur and tablelands: Bush & Beyond


Created in 1996, Kahurangi National Park, located in the north-west corner of the South Island, is one of New Zealand's newest national parks. It is also one of the largest. The complex landforms of Kahurangi National Park attract fossil hunters, cavers, people with an interest in geology as well as those interested in birds and natural history.

The Heaphy Track, located in the Kahurangi National Park, is the longest of the DOC Great Walks. The track covers 78 kilometres of subtropical rainforest, tussock high country, river valley and coast.The route connects Golden Bay in the North of the South Island with the township of Karamea on the West Coast.


In the Maori language, Kahurangi means ‘treasured possession’. It was first traversed by Maori as a pounamu, greenstone trail. Evidence of moa hunters at the Heaphy, Whakapouai, River mouth has been dated to the 16th century.

European history started with the discovery of gold on both the West Coast and Golden Bay, leading to the completion of a track to connect the two districts in 1893.

The track receives it’s name from Charles Heaphy — explorer, artist and soldier — who, along with Thomas Brunner and their Maori guides Kehu and Etau, was the first European to explore the Heaphy coast.

(page last updated  26 July 2007)