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How to visit the giant Kauri Trees in Waipoua Forest responsibly

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One of the main attractions of the Northland region on the North Island of New Zealand is Waipoua Forest. It’s the biggest kauri forest in the world, home to two of the largest living kauri trees. But the kauri dieback disease is threatening these beautiful giants. In order to keep them safe, there are just a few simple guidelines to keep in mind when you visit them.

Keep reading to find out how you can visit the giant kauri trees in Waipoua Forest responsibly, and help prevent the spread of the kauri dieback disease.

Selfie with Te Matua NgahereSelfie with Te Matua Ngahere

Keep Kauri Standing

Kauri trees are native to New Zealand. They’re one of the world’s mightiest trees, growing over 50 metres in height, up to 16 metres in girth, and as old as 2,000 years of age. On top of that, they play an important role in many aspects of Maori culture. Plenty of reasons to protect these giants from the kauri dieback disease, don’t you agree?

Keep Kauri Standing is the slogan of the Kauri Dieback Programme, an organisation that was created to protect the kauri ecosystems. They are doing research into the detection and spread of the kauri dieback disease in order to control it, and run public awareness campaigns.

Cleaning station before entering Waipoua ForestCleaning station before entering Waipoua Forest
Brecht at Waipoua ForestBrecht at Waipoua Forest

Unfortunately they haven’t been able to find a treatment. The only way to protect the healthy kauri trees is to contain the kauri dieback disease and prevent it from spreading. This is where you come in. When you’re around kauri trees:

  • Make sure shoes, tyres, and equipment are cleaned to remove all visible soil and plant material before ánd after visiting a kauri forest;
  • Use cleaning stations installed on major tracks;
  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots;
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times.

Source: Kauri Dieback Website

It’s a small effort, but can have a big impact on the life of the kauri trees.

The largest and oldest kauri trees in the world

The oldest kauri tree in the world has been standing its ground in Waipoua Forest for over 2,000 years: Te Matua Ngahere. He’s the Father of the Forest, the “fattest” and second largest kauri tree. In 2007 a big part of his crown came down, but the rest is still there for you to visit. To get there, it’s just a 15 minute walk from the car park.

Along that same path are even more impressive kauri trees to admire: the Four Sisters and the Yakas Tree. You can find them respectively on a short and long sidetrack from the track to Te Matua Ngahere.

Te Matua NgahereTe Matua Ngahere
Tane MahutaTane Mahuta

The largest kauri tree in the world is part of Waipoua Forest as well:  Tane Mahuta. Its name means Lord of the Forest. To pay his majesty a visit, you only have to walk for 5 minutes (one way). It’s a short and easy walk, also accessible for strollers.

The kauri trees in Waipoua Forest in New Zealand are definitely worth a visit. Do think about the wellbeing of these impressive giants when you visit: clean your gear and stay on the track at all times!

Have you visited the kauri trees in the Waipoua Forest? What did you think? We’d love to read about your experience in the comments!


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How to visit the giant Kauri Trees in Waipoua Forest responsiblyHow to visit the giant Kauri Trees in Waipoua Forest responsibly