New Zealand is home to nine Great Walks. These are man-made tracks that offer great scenery and a full wilderness experience but are also easily accessible from major towns. Kahurangi is home to the Heaphy Track. This track is named after the renowned explorer Charles Heaphy and is about 80 km long leading from the Golden Bay to the Karamea.
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 and finally the sea shore.
Early Maori used these tracks to look for greenstone. During the 19th century, the gold rush brought many European settlers onto these tracks.