New Zealand has 11 legally designated wilderness areas and two proposed. These areas, by definition, are our most remote places and require great physical effort to access; their protection, however, relies largely on people who may never have a chance to explore and enjoy them. Wilderness areas are pristine and are home to some of our most vulnerable species; they are places set aside for natural processes to take place largely free from human impact, noise and traffic and where only the hardiest trampers can go for quiet enjoyment of the wild. 

“...I have always found it difficult to watch a dawn or sunset from the crest of the Paparoa Range without finding my thoughts stealing off to overviews of a different sort; to the way we think of wilderness; to the value we place on those parts of our land which are still wild and unspoilt; and to the kinds of places this whole planet so urgently needs to preserve not only for our own escape, adventure and enrichment, but also for plants and animals whose tenure long predates our own, but who cannot speak for themselves.”
— Andy Dennis

These photos featured in the New Zealand Geographic, July-August 2016 issue.

More information from the Department of Conservation on New Zealand's wilderness areas: The State of Wilderness (PDF).

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