News report | | 30/11/2021 | ±4 minutes reading time

New Zealand is no stranger to dramatic landscapes. When deciding which of these awe-inspiring places you should visit can be rather difficult because there are so many choices. Visiting one of the national Parks in New Zealand is a big item on a lot of traveller’s checklists. Tour through some highlights as you wait for your visa to be approved. The New Zealand visa can be easily applied for online, and the entire process can be completed quickly and easily from your own home without needing a trip to an embassy.

Tongariro National Park

It is impossible not to mention Tongariro when discussing national parks of New Zealand because of its sheer importance. It became New Zealand’s first national park in 1887 and is highly significant to the Māori people. This is a region of deep cultural, spiritual and historical significance, filled with stories from the Ngāti Tūwharetoa. The park is situated around 3 mountain peaks, the Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu and Tongariro, which are very significant to the cultural history of the tribe.

Highlights

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a particular highlight at this park. This tour has quite a few landscape highlights, including lakes, craters and valleys. Most people begin their journey at Mangatepopo Valley, where you can see old lava flows that head towards the beautiful valley. Climbing fans will enjoy the South Crater and the Red Crater. The Red Crater is the highest point of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This crater is still active and still smells like sulphur.

The Emerald Lakes are aptly named after their unique green glow. It is a mix of volcanic mineral ash and sunlight that gives the lakes this beautiful colour. There is often steam coming from around the lakes, which is one of the reasons for the sulphuric smell in the area. It is important to know that you are not allowed to go in to the Emerald Lakes as well as the Blue Lake. The emerald lakes have far too many minerals, and the Blue Lake is considered sacred and must therefore be respected. You are not allowed to eat or drink near the Blue Lake.

Another highlight of this national park is Taranaki Falls. The hike to this waterfall offers a wide array of different scenery along the route. From beech forests, to alpine forests, streams, and gorges, this path will keep surprising you until you reach the beautiful falls. There are ancient lava flow paths and plenty of good bird watching as well. Even the return track heading back from Taranaki Falls is filled with exposed layers of pumice and ash, which make for a unique journey to and from the falls.

A sacred landscape

The Māori have inhabited this area since at least the 14th century, and Tongariro is referred to as tapu, which means sacred. The Maori people foresaw the possibility of the area being exploited very early on and collaborated with the New Zealand government in 1894 to create one of the world’s first official National Parks. It also happens to be the first National Park in the world to be gifted by its indigenous people.

It is good to remember that on this sacred land, there must be respect for the tribes and the significance of this land. One thing that, although quite obvious, is important to plan for is that littering is unacceptable, therefore making sure you bring extra storage for things like wrappers and used food packaging. Also, it is useful to know certain details, such as where food and drink is allowed, and that sometimes there can be queues for restrooms, just to name a few.

Think ahead

Because of the revered nature of this land, New Zealand is faced with the task of finding a balance between welcoming visitors and maintaining the integrity of the area. It is quite handy to plan your trip in advance to make sure you secure proper accommodations and have things ready. Planning the application for the New Zealand visa on time as well is also handy. The New Zealand visa is valid for 2 years, which allows for plenty of planning time after application. On the other hand, the 2-year validity of the visa allows for perhaps another holiday down the road, should you decide your time in New Zealand was not enough.

The New Zealand visa is also referred to as the NZeTA, which stands for “New Zealand electronic Travel Authority”. After you apply for an NZeTA visa, upon approval, the visa is digitally linked to your passport. Before you apply, you may check to see what the requirements are for the visa. The standard waiting period for approval is about 1 week, and an urgent application is always possible if the visa is needed sooner. It is also possible to find any additional information under Frequently Asked Questions page.