Marvel at New Zealand's most iconic tree, an enormous kauri that grew here many centuries before the first Māori explorers even arrived.
Tāne Mahuta, which is Māori for “Lord of the Forest,” enjoys the reputation of being the largest kauri tree in New Zealand. Feel dwarfed by its sheer volume and height as you gaze up to its crown.
As you set off from the car park towards Tāne Mahuta, enjoy the tranquility of the lush Waipoua Forest. Along with neighboring Mataraua and Waima forests, the area makes up the largest stand of native forest in Northland. Apart from ancient kauri trees, northern rata and rimu trees contribute to the unique fauna of this fascinating forest.
After you reach the viewing spot for Tāne Mahuta, take a few steps back to gaze up at this giant kauri. When you see the other members of your group pose for pictures at its base, it’s only then that you start to appreciate the sheer scale of this silent giant. While reports vary, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation notes that the tree stands at least 167 feet (51 meters) tall and has a girth of 45 feet (13.77 meters). It also estimates that the trunk of the tree is a staggering 8,634 cubic feet (244.5 cubic meters) in volume.
Walk further round the track to the second viewing area for a new perspective of the tree. As well as taking in the size of the tree, consider how incredibly old this tree must be to be that big. It is estimated that Tāne Mahuta is about 2,000 years old and could very well reach 3,000 years if protected. Just imagine what the tree could tell you if it could talk.
Tāne Mahuta is located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) to the north of the town of Dargaville and about 11 miles (18 kilometers) to the south of Omapere. It’s best reached by car or on a tour. There are free parking and toilet facilities available. The track from the parking lot along the road is just 550 feet (166 meters). Remember to rinse the soles of your shoes in the provided cleaning station at the start of the boardwalk to prevent contaminating the trees roots.