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Since 2007, the park has been on the tentative list for world heritage.
The national park was formed in 1996, although much of the area was part of a forest park since the 1960s.
Flora and fauna
Fees and permits
- There is no entrance fee for the park, but permits are required for hunting and fishing, and fees are charged for staying at a hut.
- Heaphy Track . A 78-km walk through native forest that takes 4–6 days, the longest of New Zealand's nine Great Walks. It runs between Brown Hut, inland from Collingwood in Golden Bay, and Karamea, at the northern end of the West Coast region. It can be walked from either end. The highest point is Perry Saddle at about 900 m.
- Wangapeka Track is a challenging 4–6 day tramping track. One end of the tramp is near the Rolling River Junction in the Waimea Basin in the east and the other end is close to the West Coast near Little Wanganui, just south of larger town of Karamea.
- The DOC run an extensive network of huts in the park.