So you’ve decided you wanna meet the most bad @$$ tree in all of New Zealand?! Who wouldn’t want to meet Mr. Tāne Mahuta himself….the grandest, oldest, and most sacred living kauri tree in all of New Zealand. He’s so epic that his name literally means Lord of the Forest. Well read on my friend for what you need to know before you start hugging kauri trees in the New Zealand bush.
Located in the magical and sacred Waipoua Forest, on the North Island, is the most famous tree in all of New Zealand. A perfect day trip from anywhere in the Northland region and 45 km north of Dargaville. And once you arrive in the Waipoua Forest you journey to Tāne Mahuta is just a short bush walk from the bustling and busy street into a shaded and secluded peaceful forest.
Here you’ll discover a native New Zealand forest with a variety of native species. Get up close to these species in their natural habitat while enjoying a bush walk. Make sure to enjoy breathtaking viewing of the forest on the windy drive in. Pull over, snap some pics, explore! And take a breather cause man that road is windy!! And the cherry on top, being in the presence of the beautiful and mystifying kauri trees. Making it a little slice of heaven in New Zealand’s North Land!
And not only is the Waipoua Forest home to Tāne Mahuta, the oldest and largest kauri tree alive. But Te Matua Ngahere “Father of the Forest” calls Waipoua home as well. You’ll be able to gaze at both of these stunning trees on your visit to Waipoua Forest. You’re trip to New Zealand is not complete without visiting the most famous trees of the forest.
Know Before You Go
With one simple google search on kauri trees or a quick chat with any kiwi and you’ll discover quickly that kauri trees are in danger. The trees can live for over 2,000 years but the recent threat of kauri dieback disease is killing a larger population of these beautiful trees. The disease is transferred through the soil, and unfortunately humans are the number one way the disease spreads. The infected spoil sticks to the bottom of our shoes and relocates itself to the soil of a healthy kauri tree.
Along with the wildlife being threatened from the kauri dieback disease, kauri trees have faced a difficult past. New Zealand saw a large decrease in kauri trees when European settlers arrived and took a liking to the timber. The demand was so high that entire forests were cleared for the timber. Eventually timber supplies diminished along with the forest of trees themselves. Because of this, kauri timber is very expensive and the famous species of tree is now on New Zealand’s protected tree list and is illegal to chop down.
To preserve, save, and spread growth of these majestic beauties much is being done to protect them and their home. So make sure to do you part when visiting Waipoua Forest. There are a couple easy peasy rules to follow. When visiting Tāne Mahuta you just have to make sure the soles of you shoes are nice and tidy. You will be directed through a quick an easy process of cleaning the bottoms of your shoes. (You’ll repeat this process when you leave.) Once in this protected area just make sure to stay on the designated trail (kauri roots are shallow and very sensitive) and leave fido at home! Sorry Lemon! There is currently no known cure for the disease so it’s very important to follow these rules on your visit.
It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye
When you’ve decided to exit back to the car park area you don’t have to let the Tāne Mahuta fun expire just quite yet. Grab a coffee and bite to eat at Tāne Cafe and enjoy a pleasant picnic. Across the street from the entrance to Tāne Mahuta you can sit on a grassy area and enjoy a picnic with a glorious view of the Lord of the Forest. It’s interesting to see him from this angle where he towers above the other trees and rests above the canopy. It’s cool to get these two perspectives of the most famous tree in New Zealand.
Additional Information and Resources
- Bush Walk Options
- Save the Kauri Trees
- How You Can Get Involved
- Take on another day trip option in Northland
- Information on the Tāne Mahuta walk
- Grab coffee at Tāne Cafe
Go hug a kauri…Adventure Awaits!