Quiet Parks – New Zealand has some of the best (and most spectacular) naturally quiet places in the world. Prepare to dream!
Quiet Parks New Zealand are some of the most remote and naturally quiet places left, but very few are protected for their natural quiet. This protection and education is urgent to ensure that natural quiet is protect for generations to come, rather than slowly encroached and degraded and eventually lost forever.
7. Doubtful Sound, Patea, Fiordland, 45°S – Spectacular natural quiet.
Sculpted by glaciers, the Fiordland sounds are some of the most spectacular places in the world, rich in nature with amazing native plants and animals, it’s worth heading out for an overnight trip on Doubtful Sound, or taking a multi-day Great Walk such as the Routeburn Track, Kepler Track or Milford Track.
No Fiordland is not number one, why? Because there are tourists! Helicopter rides and motor boats disturb the natural quiet at an increasing rate, putting this World Heritage Area at risk.
6. Poor Knights Island, Tawhiti Rahi, 35°S – World’s biggest sea cave for ocean quiet.
Three hours by car and two hours by boat from Auckland, isolation protects this amazing marine environment. With some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world there are so many reasons to visit, but paddling alone in the world’s biggest sea cave is one of them. Perhaps you might not get long enough to really absorb the quiet, but it will give you a little glimpse of magic that will leave you wanting more, quiet parks that is! Remote yes, but number 1 NO, you have to visit by boat, with tourists…
5. Oparara Arches, Karamea, 40°S – Limestone “Quiet Park“
The largest limestone arch in Australasia is tucked away at the top of the South Islands West Coast, at the end of another Great Walk the Heaphy Track, at Kahurangi National Park. It is truly far from the maddening crowd, while still being accessible by road, and a two-hour return walk. These spectacular caves are deep in the forest in the West Coasts rainforest. No buses or motorhomes here.
4. The Wildside, Banks Peninsula, Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū, 44°S – The End of the Earth
Quiet Parks – New Zealand – are never this easily accessible, only 15 minutes from the beautiful tourist town of Akaroa the cliffs at The End of the Earth are ‘lived in quiet’, accessible and unappreciated as ‘everyday’ quiet to the locals. Marie Haley grew up as the seventh generation of the first French settlers to the town and has been aware of the beauty of the natural quiet since she was a teenager.
While reading on her front porch she noticed that she had not heard another sound from a human in quiet some time, and so she listened and noticed and as time went on she realised that she lived in a particularly quiet spot.
Upon hearing about natural quiet from One Square Inch of Silence some fifteen years later, Marie contacted Gorden at what is now Quiet Parks International. And over several years they have been working towards educating school groups and locals of the very special natural quiet that occurs on a daily basis.
Marie doesn’t think it’s changed much since when she was a kid. It’s a living working environment, there are tractors and motorbikes and at times the moo of a cow, but still she goes to the window to see who it is if a car drives down the road. And when there is disturbance it is noticeable against the natural quiet.
Marie credits this natural quiet for her love of nature and work in nature conservation with The Wildside Project.
Natural quiet is the space in which we observe the natural world, within natural rhythms and gives us the space to dream.Marie Haley, The Seventh Generation Tours Akaroa
3. Great Barrier Island, Aotea, 36°S – Dark Sky Sanctuary and Quiet Place
Far far away from the busy city of Auckland via a 4.5 hour ferry ride, and a whole world away in terms of natural quiet and mindfulness. This is a spot that’s on many kiwi’s bucket lists, an island paradise with wildness and a Dark Sky Sanctuary. With walking tracks and tucked away holiday homes, rare and endangered natural birds and animals and white sand beaches. For a taste of the real New Zealand make an effort to visit Great Barrier Island. A lived in place of natural quiet.
2. Stewart Island, Rakiura, 47°S – Remote Quiet
Stewart Island is about as far south as most people get in New Zealand. it has amazing quiet National Parks run by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and multi-day Great Walk Rakiura Track. It’s also possible to visit the southern end of the island at Port Pegasus, which is unforgettably beautiful and remote, with true undisturbed natural quiet.
1. Campbell Island, Sub-Antarctic Island 53°S – New Zealand’s most southern island.
How far will we go for undisturbed natural quiet (peace) in New Zealand, will we go to 53 South? The most southern island in New Zealand, with access only by boat after several days at sea! A place without roads, without shops, houses or an airport. The only accessible way to visit is by tourist ship such as the Heritage Expeditions, or on a private yacht (good luck!) over the roughest and one of the most remote oceans on earth.
OR go as a Department of Conservation field worker, as I did – for three summers – as a albatross and sea lion field researcher. This truly changed my life. Working for months at a time without seeing other humans, living in tents and tiny huts, carrying all our gear on our backs over unformed or rough tracks, with no weather forecast and a 72 hour helicopter ride away from any help! Heaven!
Absolute quiet, except I never have heard so much noise! The wind, the waves, the penguins far far below (see the white blur on the rocks to the left of my boots in the photo!). Sea lions roaring, albatross gamming, giant petrals and skua’s fighting over food. It was an absolute cacophony of sound and fresh air that filled my lungs with a sense of freedom never before known.
This was life on nature’s terms, without our usual safety net. Oh how I miss it! If you want to read more click here or let me know in the comments.
IF you can VISIT Campbell Island, or any of the wild and remote and naturally quiet sub-Antarctic Islands that this world (and especially New Zealand) is blessed with.
The BEST Quiet Places to Visit in New Zealand:
|Doubtful Sound, Patea, Fiordland, 45° South
|Poor Knights Island, Tawhiti Rahi, 35° South – World’s biggest sea cave
|Oparara Arches, Karamea, 40° South
|The Wildside, Banks Peninsula, Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū, 44° South – The End of the Earth
|Great Barrier Island, Aotea, 36° South – Dark Sky Sanctuary
|Stewart Island, Rakiura, 47° South
|Campbell Island, Sub-Antarctic Island 53° South – New Zealand’s most southern island.