We have received loads of wonderful tips and recommendations since arriving in New Zealand, and a visit to the Kauri forests up in the Northland region was one of them. We spent the day driving around this region and the north of the Auckland region, taking in a couple of hikes along the way.
The highlight of the day was the Waipoua Forest, home to the largest and oldest native Kauri trees in New Zealand; some of them as old as 2,000 years. We learned that New Zealand was once covered in Kauris, but their valuable timber was used by Maoris to build boats, and by Europeans to build homes or cleared to make way for sheep and cattle. We imagined what it must have been like when these majestic trees and forests covered much of New Zealand. The forests are unlike anything we’ve seen before—so thick, green and seemingly tropical in appearance, despite their temperate home. The largest Kauri tree, Tane Mahuta – Maori for ‘Lord of the Forest’, was awe-inspiring. We stared in silence for ten minutes and attempted to capture its presence with a couple photos. They hardly do it justice.
On our drive back home we drove through Hokianga Harbour (last photo) with a stunning view out over the harbour and the giant sand dunes off shore. I made Michael stop the car so I could snap some photos. I have a feeling we’ll be doing lots of that as we drive around this pretty country.
p.s. Sorry for the dark, blurry photos. My camera was playing tricks on me, and I’m still learning how to snap photos when the light is low and patchy. x