Due to its variety of rock types, landscapes, and its position almost between North and South Island experiencing coastal climate, Kahurangi National Park has the greatest biodiversity in New Zealand. More than half (1200) of all New Zealand native plant species are found here. Nearly 80% of all alpine species are also found in Kahurangi's higher altitudes. Another 80% of the park is covered in forest. One may observe one of the 67 plant species that are only found in Kahurangi. The most common tree is the native beech.
Kahurangi is the best prove for New Zealand being a part of the ancient super continent Gondwana around 80 million years ago. The park contains some of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems in the country ranging from an untouched wilderness of coastal forests, feral rivers and limestone caves to icy mountaintops with alpine herbs and freshwater wetlands. Altogether Kahurangi has almost 600 km walking tracks.
The Heaphy Track is famous for the diverse landscapes it crosses through. If starting in the east, Nothofagus beech forests await to be conquered before reaching the highest point on the track of around 920 m. Entering the Gouland Downs, visitors pass through endless tussock lands until they reach scenic views of the Tasman Sea and the Kahurangi Marine Reserve. The rest of the track is a smooth descent through podocarps and rimus along bushes and nikau palms (Rhopalostylis sapida) and finally the sea shore.