It’s a Good Friday to celebrate World Heritage

Elizabeth Marenzi —  18/04/2014

You probably don’t need me to tell you that today is Good Friday, but you could be forgiven for not knowing that today—18 April 2014—is also World Heritage Day.

To celebrate, we’re showing off New Zealand’s 3 stunning World Heritage sites.

Representing the best of the world’s natural (and, in some cases, cultural) heritage—and rated alongside places such as the Grand Canyon, the Serengeti, and Mount Everest—these are places that we should be immensely proud of…

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park was the first national park to be established in New Zealand, and the fourth in the world. It is a dual World Heritage area, a status which recognises the park’s important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features.

Mt. Ngauruhoe. Photo: Matti | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Mt. Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park

Emerald Lakes. Photo: Matti | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro National Park

Te Wāhipounamu – South West New Zealand

Te Wāhipounamu covers 10% of New Zealand’s landmass (2.6 million hectares) and contains many of the natural features which contribute to our international reputation for superlative landscapes: our highest mountains, longest glaciers, tallest forests, wildest rivers and gorges, most rugged coastlines and deepest fiords and lakes…

Lake Matheson. Photo: Geee Kay | flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Lake Matheson

Milford Sound. Photo: CameliaTWU | flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Milford Sound/Piopiotahi

New Zealand’s subantarctic islands

New Zealand’s wild and beautiful subantarctic islands have not only been honoured with World Heritage status, but they are also National Nature Reserves—the highest possible conservation status.

Home to some of the most abundant and unique wildlife on earth: many birds, plants and invertebrates are found nowhere else in the world.

Enderby Island, part of the Auckland Islands. Photo: Austronesian Expeditions | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Enderby Island

Subantarctic plantlife. Photo: Su Yin Khoo | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Subantarctic plant life

I hope this glimpse into our World Heritage has made your Good Friday even better.

Have a great long weekend everyone!


World Heritage Day is officially known as the International Day for Monuments and Sites.

Learn more about World Heritage on the DOC website.

Elizabeth Marenzi

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Elizabeth is part of the communications team at DOC. She enjoys reconnecting the urban desk jockeys of the world with nature—believing it to be the best anecdote for “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people.”