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Waipoua Forest in New Zealand

The forest fascinates with its huge ancient kauri trees, colourful ferns, and exotic birds

Waipoua Forest
Waipoua Forest
Waipoua Forest
Waipoua Forest

What a bliss to walk through fascinating natural kauri gateways, enjoy sun rays breaking through the fringing ferns and birds chirping around! You might think that you got into the Garden of Eden. In fact, this is Waipoua forest, the most popular among the remaining kauri forests. In the past kauri trees covered the area of 1,2 million hectares. These ancient towering trees have been growing in New Zealand for over 2,000 years.

Waipoua forest is home to the oldest kauris known in New Zealand. One of them is presumed to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old, Maori people name it Te Matua Ngahere, which means “the Father of the Forest”. Another grand tree is not only old, namely 2,000 years old, but also the largest one. Thus, it is called Tana Mahuta, translated as “the Lord of the Forest”.

The best time to take pleasure in strolling around the forest is summer when the sunshine​ struggles in through the grand kauris and ferns.

Practical info

What factors distinguish Waipoua forest from other forests in New Zealand?

Waipoua forest stands out from other forests in New Zealand due to its towering kauri trees, which have been growing for over 2,000 years. With a total area of 1.2 million hectares, the forest has the oldest kauris in New Zealand, with one of them, Te Matua Ngahere, estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old. Considered a sacred site by the Maori people, Waipoua forest offers visitors intriguing insights into the cultural and spiritual significance of the forest. Show more

What is the ideal time to visit Waipoua forest to witness sunshine peeking through the forest?

From December to February is the perfect time to visit Waipoua forest, witness sunshine breaking through the trees, and creating a remarkable experience. This season offers the best weather for visitors to explore and learn about the wildlife and culture of the area and enjoy strolling around the forest. Additionally, visitors can engage in ranger-led activities and acquire knowledge about the secrets of the forest and its ecological significance. Show more

What is the estimated age of the oldest and most significant kauris, and what is their significance in Waipoua forest?

Te Matua Ngahere (the Father of the Forest) and Tana Mahuta (the Lord of the Forest) are the oldest and biggest kauris in Waipoua forest. Estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old, Te Matua Ngahere, meaning 'the Father of the Forest' in Maori, holds great cultural and spiritual significance to the Maori people. Tana Mahuta, around 2,000 years old, stands out due to its sheer size and has become a famous tourist attraction for visitors to marvel at. Show more

What is the name of the oldest living kauri tree in Waipoua forest, and what is its meaning?

Te Matua Ngahere, meaning 'the Father of the Forest' in Maori, is the name of the oldest living kauri tree in Waipoua forest. This tree has been growing for between 2,500 and 3,000 years, making it a unique destination for tourists to explore and learn about Maori culture. Visitors can also witness the sheer magnitude of the tree with its massive girth of over 16 meters and canopy spreading over 30 meters wide. Show more

What are some of the attractions available to visitors besides the kauri trees in and around Waipoua forest?

Aside from the towering kauri trees, the Waipoua forest area offers visitors various attractions worth experiencing. The Yakas Kauri Walk is an excellent option for visitors to explore the ancient kauri groves, while the Waipoua Forest Puketi Nature Trail provides unprecedented views of the forest's lush vegetation, underground caves, and waterfalls. Additionally, visitors can go horse riding at the Waipoua Horse Treks, discover the Footprints Waipoua sculpture trail, or engage in farming activities such as sheep shearing at the Opononi Sheepskin Tannery. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin